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CNBC's Schacknow: Getting Beat On HD--And Loving It

Monday, 12 Feb 2007 | 2:56 PM ET

They Were Too Quick: I admit it. Our anchors beat me to the punch today. And that’s a good thing.

Trust me when I tell you TV anchoring is not as easy as it may look. There are many, many moving parts to keep track of, not the least of which is familiarizing yourself with a plethora of material and appearing comfortable delivering it. That’s why we have people (like me) whose primary job is keeping track of the news flow, and keeping the anchors abreast of any new developments.

At 8:30 am, we got the news that Home Depot was considering strategic alternatives for its supply business- which immediately caused a spike in Dow Jones futures (since HD is a Dow component).

Under normal circumstances, either I or one of the other producers would have been informing the anchors that this news had crossed, and preparing dekos or other elements to go with it. But before I could blink, “Squawk Box” anchors Joe Kernen, Becky Quick, and Carl Quintanilla were already on the air telling the story.

Sometimes, it happens this way. They happened to be free of other duties at the moment the news crossed, and clearly, it wasn’t the kind of story that we needed to wonder whether to put on the air. Being a producer requires its own kind of juggling act, and it was a moment or two before I could catch up with them.

It became a big story for the rest of Squawk, and we were able to rustle up a piece of video that only enhanced it: Joe Kernen had asked HD founder Bernard Marcus last week if spinning off the supply business might be good strategy, and he predicted at that time that yes, it would be. We found that video and played it, and if I do say so myself, we looked pretty darn smart.

And that’s why it’s great to have smart anchors. (I’m hoping that one of them will write somewhere that it’s great to have smart producers.)

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