Deep In The Heart of Edgar: I’ll be the first to admit that broadcast producers rely a great deal on the newswires (Dow Jones, Reuters, AP, etc.). Some carry that to extreme - when I was producing at ABC Radio years ago, I told an anchor a piece of news that a reporter in the field had given me, and he said .. “But it’s not on the wires!" He wasn't joking.
After I got done slapping him silly, I did make a mental note to be more diligent about knowing the original sources of news when not out in the field. Today’s story involving Apple Computer was a perfect example of how helpful that can be.
We got a wire flash at about 6:15 am our time that Apple had filed its delayed annual and quarterly earnings reports - which we knew would contain information about its ongoing options investigation.
Instead of waiting for the wires to digest and interpret the news, we went right to the source: EDGAR, the catchy name for the online database maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission. We went to the SEC web site, accessed Edgar, and got a first hand look at the filing and its conclusions - and were able to get the news on the air minutes sooner than we would have if we’d waited for the wires. “Squawk Box” anchors Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla told viewers that Apple had, indeed, granted options improperly and that CEO Steve Jobs had been aware of it, though he hadn’t benefited financially.
Don’t get me wrong - the wires do a tremendous job and most broadcast outlets would be helpless without them. But one should always know how THEY get the news - or at least some of it.
NYSE Debate: It had already been announced that federal offices would be closed Tuesday to observe the national day of mourning for former President Gerald Ford. It was announced yesterday that the Nasdaq stock market would close, but the big question was: what would the New York Stock Exchange do?
Traditionally, the markets have closed for similar days of mourning, as they did two years ago following the death of former President Ronald Reagan. But there was a question this time around - because closure Tuesday following the Monday holiday would mean four straight days of no trading. NYSE reporter Bob Pisani had told us yesterday there was some speculation that the Big Board would be open for a half day of trading Tuesday.
In the end, the NYSE decided to shut down for the entire day - news that we got right from the source. NYSE producer Robert Hum called the Breaking News Desk the moment the word came down - “Squawk On The Street” anchor Erin Burnett had the news on almost instantly, accompanied by a deko. (Another example of news we DIDN’T get from the wires!).
A very Happy New Year from the Breaking News Desk.