On Thursday, seven crew members from a popular financial cable television network were apprehended by the Feds after they tried to sneak a fake explosive device through a heavily guarded security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told NJ Daily that the seven crew members were filming for the financial cable network called CNBC, located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. So far, the TSA has not released any names of the crew members nor any additional information about the incident.
A second source familiar with the matter said the fake explosive device was a PVC pipe with wires protruding out from the ends. After crew members failed to get the explosive device through the checkpoint, the bomb squad was dispatched, who later determined the fake bomb did not pose a threat to the thousands of travelers at the airport. Unfortunately, the failed stunt by CNBC landed all seven crew members in jail with severe charges pending.
A third source told the NJ Daily that the crew members were from the Endemol Shine Group, a Dutch media company who contracts with CNBC for television shows. Endemol is the media company behind Big Brother, Fear Factor, and MasterChef.
“We are looking into the details of what happened as a matter of priority and are in contact with relevant authorities on the ground. While this process is ongoing we are unable to comment further but in the meantime, we sincerely apologize for any disruption caused,” said Julie Holland, a spokesperson for Endemol Shine North America.
Amid the fierce battle between CNBC and Fox Business for TV business news ratings. CNBC lost the number one spot in 2017 to Fox Business News during the business day.
Perhaps, a desperate CNBC sending their crew with a fake bomb to an airport was an attempt to generate future buzz, but as of Thursday, that ended very badly for the network.
Per Ad Week- 2017 Business Day:
- FBN: 197,000 total viewers, +28 percent / 25,000 A25-54, +14 percent
- CNBC: 167,000 total viewers, -11 percent / 30,000 A25-54, -19 percent
Another law enforcement source said CNBC’s crew would be charged by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office with creating a false public alarm, conspiracy and interference with transportation, however, Essex County officials would make that determination for later.
And lastly, the TSA said CNBC crew members, “attempted to intentionally carry through the security checkpoint an item in a carry-on bag that had all of the makings of an improvised explosive device. At the same time, others in the group covertly filmed the encounter.”
Has there been any comment from CNBC on why their TV crew tried to sneak a fake bomb through Newark Airport?