Longtime biz journalist Dorfman dies
by Chris Roush
Business journalist Dan Doerfman, who worked at places such as The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Money magazine, the New York Daily News and USA Today and who had controversial relationships with sources, died Friday. He was 80.
David Wilson of Bloomberg News writes, “Dorfman began swaying share prices regularly at the Wall Street Journal, where he wrote the Heard on the Street column for six years. Stints with New York and Esquire magazines, the New York Daily News, USA Today and Cable News Network followed.
“His influence peaked in the 1990s, when he appeared daily on the CNBC cable network and earned at least $800,000 annually for his television and print reporting. He paved the way for TV pundits such as Jim Cramer, the former hedge-fund manager who hosts CNBC’s ‘Mad Money’ program.
“‘I always found him entertaining, but I always thought he was a negative force, not a positive one,’ Cramer wrote in 2006 for TheStreet.com. Dorfman ‘became so pressed for stories that I believe he had to compromise his own standards.’
“Money magazine, where Dorfman worked as a columnist, fired him in January 1996 as the government examined his relationship with a stock promoter. He suffered a stroke later that year and lost his position at CNBC.”
Read more here. And here is an interview with Dorfman I did in December 2008 — the interview from the business journalism history site that Wilson quotes twice in his story. For the last question, I asked him how he would like to be remembered. He said:
On my tombstone, I would like it to read, “Here lies Dan Dorfman, a reporter who cared.” All that I’ve tried to do is to give to the masses what was known to a chosen few. That was my contribution. I heard information, like the Time Warner offer, by a relatively few people, but after I reported it, it was known by everybody. “Dan Dorfman, a reporter who cared and who tried.” I think that’s good enough.