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Pat Kiernan 'Rules' prime time

Pat Kiernan

Pat Kiernan Credit: Pat Kiernan (Getty Images)

You can see Pat Kiernan nearly every morning on NY1, where he’s been the morning news anchor since 1997.

Starting tonight, you’ll be able to see the 44-year-old newsman — loved for his “In The Papers” segment — on prime time as he begins his new gig as co-host of the reality competition show “Crowd Rules,” debuting tonight on CNBC.

In the show, three small businesses — the first episode features an ice cream company, a pickle shop and a hot sauce manufacturer — face off to win $50,000 to build their company.

Each of the businesses plead their case to 100 individuals who will decide their fate: Kiernan, his co-host (jewelry designer) Kendra Scott, a guest expert and the crowd of 97.

amNewYork spoke with Kiernan about the show.

What kind of companies did you see on the show? We got to meet entrepreneurs from all over the country. There were some products where you immediately saw what the appeal was, other products you were scratching your head, but you would look at their sales figures and, if I don’t get it, somebody gets it.

How did the crowd do? I was super impressed with the quality of the questions we got from the crowd.... Everybody throughout the hour was engaged — really listening to these business, really understanding what the strengths and weaknesses of the business are.

What effect do you think winning the money can have on a small business? $50,000 is a game-changing amount of money for a small business. You’re given that money without strings attached. It’s not an investment from a partner. It’s not a loan from a bank. It’s just a straight up $50,000 — that’s the kind of money that can get people out of their credit card loans ... it can help them pick up the inventory they need to expand distribution, to hire staff. There’s so many ways to go with it.

As a Canadian who sometimes hosts trivia shows, are you keeping a close eye on rumors about another Canadian trivia show host, Alex Trebek, retiring from “Jeopardy!”? It’s so closely associated with Alex that that’s a bridge you cross when the timing’s right.... And I’m in no hurry. I’ve got one job that I’ve enjoyed for 16 years and “Crowd Rules” that I’m enjoying. ... So I’m not looking for work. But if the time came that I was invited to do that show, I think I’d be good at it and would love the opportunity.

“Crowd Rules” debuts Tuesday night at 9 on CNBC.

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