Funny Business with Jane Wells

Top "Deko": Does This Headline Push The Envelope?

Cow Power photo composite

Do you ever notice those clever "banners" which flash on screen during stories? How can you not? They're omnipresent, even oppressive. You know, "Hilton's Check-Out Time" when Paris leaves jail, or "iMania!" for the iPhone buildup. Often the banners end with question marks, which is a feeble attempt to push the envelope: "Is Bill Gates Evil?" "Steve Jobs a Jerk?" (translation: we think so, but we have to be "objective" so let's just pose the question).

At CNBC we call these banners "dekos," based, I guess, on the software program we use to generate them. No one else in broadcasting calls them "dekos." Just us. It's just one more thing newbies at CNBC have to re-learn when they join this network. But I digress.

Sometimes the dekos are actually quite good. I like to reward good. So once in a while I hold a contest for "Best Deko," and the winner gets a $10 Starbucks gift card. A select group in the newsroom votes in secret, and I count the votes. Therefore, I personally cannot vote, and none of my entries are up for contention. But I throw them in there anyway just to confuse people.

Here is the latest batch of nominees which have aired over the last few months:

From Meghan Reeder, producer for "Squawk Box:" for a story about coups at shareholder meetings with dissidents gaining board seats--Grand Theft Boardroom.

From Peter Schacknow, senior producer for "breaking news": for the New York Post being so desperate it's reversing a price hike and going back to 25 cents--New York Postmorten
From Michele Braithwaite, a writer for Closing Bell: Dairy farmer using manure to create methane power--Cow Power.
Reporter Mike Huckman: McDonalds tests new bigger burger to go after Burger King and Carl's Jr--Here's the Beef.

Three dekos for one story from Ben Berna, producer for "Squawk on the Street": segment on transport stocks (yes, these aired!):
Go Truck Yourself
Get Your Ship Together
Hauling Assets

Two for one story from veteran CNBC writer Andy Fisher: Buffett buying railroads:
Buffett is Getting into Training
Some Men Collect Trains

My own feeble contributions, three for three different stories:
Labor shortage due to border crackdown--Migrant Headache
Dying bees threaten almond crop which needs them for pollination--No Almond Joy.
Bad weather hurt Cheesecake Factory--Someone left CAKE out in the rain.

One of my favorites comes from "Anonymous," but aired on "Street Signs": fighting child obesity--No Child With a Fat Behind.

AND THE WINNER!! As voted by the newsroom...
Rich Fisherman, senior producer for "Morning Call": U.S.-Russia missile tensions--Putin on the Risk.

There's also a separate category I publish internally, seen here for the first time! These are dekos which did NOT air, for obvious reasons.
Mike Huckman: 'Hooters' opens restaurant in Israel--Chooters has Chutzpah.
John Klekamp, an "honorary deko writer" from News 12 New Jersey: same story on Hooters--Holy Glands.
Also from Klekamp: Snapple being sued for not being "all natural"--Crapple.

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