You and I know that the next best thing to having GE issue a statement on its corporate biz is having its CNBC issue a statement on GE corporate biz. So early this morning, the business channel’s reliable reporter David Faber went on air to deride a struggling Hollywood blog’s “big story” that GE and Comcast had clinched a $35B deal for NBCU. Faber told the cameras: “You can call it a big story, but there may not be much of a story at all at this point. It’s very hard to say where speculation and actual news lies on this. Nonetheless, an entertainment gossip site [Faber laughs] — this is where we are in journalism today — started a great deal of speculation on whether Comcast would buy or take control of NBC Universal. That is not the case.” Faber went on to stress there’s no deal for Comcast to buy GE’s NBCU. “Does it mean there is anything even remotely here and happening? No.” (Faber seemed in agreement with my own coverage last night that this is just more tire-kicking around the Vivendi put option and multiple “What if” scenarios.) Faber’s remarks follow a spokeswoman for Philadelphia-based Comcast emailing media outlets last night, “While we don’t comment on M&A rumors, the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate.” How humiliating for that struggling Hollywood blog, which might fare better to remember that it takes a long time to build a reputation for news accuracy, and just a blink of the eye to lose the trust of readers.
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