CNBC's Schacknow: Dow Jones Story Hits Home

Hitting Home
When a big story hits, it’s always very exciting. It’s also a bit nerve-wracking when the story, at least potentially, involves you personally. David Faber’s big scoop today qualified on both counts.

During "Morning Call," David broke the story that News Corp. was bidding $60 per share to acquire Dow Jones -- sending quite a wave of excitement throughout our newsroom. It’s not just a potentially huge takeover deal -- it’s one that could change OUR lives tremendously.

News Corp., of course, owns Fox, which is launching its own business channel late this year. And Dow Jones, of course, owns The Wall Street Journal, with whom CNBC has a longstanding and very productive partnership, with Journal staffers sitting in our newsroom and appearing frequently on our air.

For many of us, this story also imparted a great sense of déjà vu.

Back in 1991, Dow Jones struck a deal to buy CNBC’s chief rival, FNN (Financial News Network). The news caused a great deal of consternation here at the then-fledgling CNBC -- until word came down that CNBC's parent General Electric had stepped in to outbid Dow for FNN. The matter went to court, with FNN ultimately being sold to GE and combined with CNBC. It was a key moment in our history, and arguably, a deal that saved our existence.


It’s a different time and far different circumstances, but you can bet we’ll be following the story with great interest.

Pecking Order
A huge story like the News Corp. bid for Dow Jones suddenly pushes everything else down a notch.

I’ve detailed in past blogs how difficult and aggravating it can be to get the auto sales numbers on the air as quickly as we do, owing to the industry tradition of calculating the sales on a per-selling-day basis, and the fact that the numbers you need for this calculation are often buried deep in a news release.

We usually do Ford Motor’s numbers right when they come out at noon. But we were in the midst of extensive coverage of the Dow Jones story, so we didn’t get to the auto numbers for a few minutes. Just having an extra minute to find the numbers and calculate them properly made the process so much easier! But of course, if doing breaking news were easy, anyone could do it -- and then I wouldn’t be able to impress anyone with my particular brand of trickery.