Embargo Busting?

Wall St Insanity’s Samantha Lile blogs about the possibility that CNBC’s David Faber busted an embargo on the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal…

The media has been buzzing all day with news that Comcast will acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal. CNBC’s David Faber has been credited with breaking the story. However, a critical detail about this “scoop” has been conveniently omitted: Comcast owns NBC, and is, therefore, Faber’s boss. Was there, then, ever any doubt its in-house business channel CNBC wouldn’t be first to report the news? Hardly a journalistic coup here, further evidenced by reports that this news was actually embargoed and Faber simply broke the embargo…. Scoop? Not so much. Easiest story ever to break? Definitely.

In fact, Reuter’s editor Soyoung Kim called CNBC out on Twitter:

Know M&A is competitive, but how are you supposed to break news you get on embargo? Sad to see people don’t have same journalism ethics.

Although Faber “broke” the story Wednesday evening, other journalists were not invited to a teleconference announcement of the merger until Thursday morning. By that time, they were, of course, well aware of the news thanks to CNBC’s “scoop.” Reuter’s, in fact, had been reporting the possibility of a merger for months. Kim, no doubt, was seeing green when a fellow journalist broke the embargo to run the story during Wednesday night’s “Squawk Box.”


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