When Their Stories Are Ours, Too: I love sports. Many people who work in the financial world feel the same way. So when us sports “wannabes” see a sports story with a business angle, we jump all over it. Such was the case with the NBA’s announcement of fines and suspensions for the Saturday night brawl involving the Knicks and the Nuggets. Clearly, such a story has all the necessary elements for a business story - marketing, image, money, etc.
Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell (who’s NOT a “wannabe” - he left ESPN to join us!) did an admirable juggling act to get the story on as soon as it broke. Darren hooked himself up to the breaking news desk, ready to go, while he listened on the phone for the start of the NBA’s 12:45 p.m. ET conference call. As it turned out, the NBA e-mailed the release before the conference call started, so we relayed that information to him and he went on the air immediately with the news and its implications.
The ulcer that viewers didn’t see belonged to me - when the computer that allows us to write “dekos” went down just before Darren’s hit. This isn’t a complete disaster, but would have meant that there would be no written information on the screen to accompany the story, and those slackers who dare to watch CNBC with the sound down wouldn’t have known what the details were. Luckily, the wayward server sprung back to life just in time.
Just Another Manic Merger Monday: I still find it oddly amusing that some weekend news isn’t news - at least for us - until the markets open - or until it becomes Monday. Among the multibillion dollar deals - real, proposed, rumored, and otherwise - that sprung forth this weekend and greeted us this morning: Express Scripts offering $26B for Caremark, attempting to disrupt Caremark’s already agreed-upon deal with CVS , Harrah’s reported close to a $16B takeover from private equity firms, real estate firm Realogy (parent of Century 21 and Coldwell Banker) being bought by Apollo Management for $6.6B, and Biomet agreeing to a $10.9B takeover, also from private equity.
Not amused - oddly or otherwise - the segment producers for "Squawk Box," faced with the task of logging in from home and trying to reach potential guests for the next morning to interpret these deals. They do this routinely and trust me, it’s exponentially more difficult to book guests on a Sunday evening than during the week. That’s one disadvantage the staff of "Squawk Box" regularly faces, but somehow they manage to work their magic and get all the stories covered flawlessly.