Street Signs

CNBC's Schacknow: Our Day On The Alerts Desk


Out of the frying pan: Today’s ban of trans-fats by New York City’s Board of Health was a perfect example of just how tension-filled the breaking news process can be. Producer Carol Berman kept us apprised via Blackberry of the agenda, and told us as soon as the vote to approve the ban passed.

What viewers saw: Anchor Liz Claman announcing that we had breaking news from the vote and reporter Mary Thompson on scene giving us the news.

What viewers didn’t see: Producer Carol Berman e-mailed us via Blackberry that the decision had come in. Mary rushed out of the meeting, and while racing for the live truck, figured out what she was going to say. I wrote an intro and prepared “elements” for her hit. At the same time, we had to wait until audio and video were good to go (live shots can be VERY temperamental!) - and studio producer Chris Moon had to make a split second decision on whether to go to break first based on whether the shot was ready.

All went well and now we can worry about how bad NYC’s fries are going to taste.

Skip Breakfast. And Lunch. Food was the theme of the day, as Taco Bell parent Yum Brands had to close several restaurants because of an E. Coli scare. At 8:48 a.m. ET, "Squawk Box" Anchor Carl Quintanilla broke the news that Yum had announced at a just-begun analyst meeting that the restaurants would be reopened and that the scare had passed. At the same time, we were getting news that smoothie maker Jamba Juice had experienced isolated cases of tainted strawberries. The stock subsequently plunged.

Eat More, Weigh Less: Can you tell this is one of my favorite subjects? Nonetheless, I get none of the credit for the breaking news that the Sanofi-Aventis drug Acompli not only helps patients lose weight, but is also effective in treating certain types of diabetes.  Pharmaceuticals reporter Mike Huckman does .. and did .. at 630 a.m. ET on "Squawk Box."