Inside CNBC During the “Most Critical Times” In Its History

By SteveK 

The New York Observer’s Meredith Bryan spent Monday at CNBC HQ in Englewood Cliffs, NJ for today’s front page story, taking in what CNBC president Mark Hoffman called, “Among the most critical times in the history of the network.”

She reports how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams ended up broadcasting from CNBC. “I called my executive producer Alex Wallace last night at, like, 11 Eastern and I said, ‘I know where we need to be,'” said Williams. “We talked about being live from the New York Stock Exchange, Lehman Brothers — you can throw a rock at it from 30 Rock, that would’ve been easy — but this, to me, is the coverage of the American economy.”

Bryan details the control room scrambling and behind-the-scenes action. But she also catches up with Charlie Gasparino. “Just so you know, I went out of my way to make sure I got it confirmed, because I was worried that if you say something, even if it’s a little wrong, you spook the markets,” he said.

In that context, Bryan asks him about the Vanity Fair story placing some of the Bear Stearns collapse blame on CNBC. “Complete nonsense,” he says.