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CNBC's Schacknow: Bending The Rules

Parking Spot
We have a variety of guidelines that we use to tell us when a piece of news is significant enough to either “alert” with a short onscreen blurb -- or a full blown anchor read. Of course, the fun part of having guidelines is completely ignoring them when the spirit moves you.

This morning, the spirit moved me. We received word that a private equity consortium would buy Central Parking Corporation, the largest operator of parking garages.

Yes, the deal was only worth $733 million, well below the $1 billion mark that we commonly use as a starting point for deals worth mentioning. But I did it as a “deko alert” nonetheless, with later shows picking up the full story.
[Editor's note: "deko" = onscreen caption box.]

And why not? It fit in nicely with one recent, prevalent theme: an increasing number of takeovers by private equity.

And if you’ve ever driven in New York and other major cities (and I'd venture to say that’s most of our viewers), who hasn't seen -- or parked in -- a Central Parking garage?

And we had video. Very nice video, as a matter of fact, sure to inspire some fond (and not so fond) memories of parking for pay. No boring corporate exteriors here.

Also, how can you not run a story that lends itself to some fun writing -- like “private equity finds a place to park its money”? Answer: you can’t!

The Top Guy
Sometimes, you get rewarded for that little extra effort.

We got word that the securities fraud conviction of former NYSE floor trader David Finnerty had been overturned -- but details, at that point, were quite limited.

Senior Assignment Editor Jim Forkin decided to dial the court that issued the decision to get additional details -- and wound up with the highest possible authority on the case: the judge, who picked up his own phone.

True, it wasn’t a huge story for us today, but with top-of-the-hour business brief coming up, it was nice to have a news story and something of substance to say about it.

I wonder if Ben Bernanke would take my calls...