Loomis, Quick and Sorkin invited to interview Buffett at annual meeting
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s annual shareholders letter, written by CEO Warren Buffett, was released on Saturday and it disclosed his favorite business journalists.
Carol Loomis of Fortune, Becky Quick of CNBC and Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times have been invited once again to attend the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting on April 30 to interview the legendary investor.
In the shareholders letter, Buffett writes, “The journalists and their e-mail addresses are: Carol Loomis, of Fortune, who may be emailed at email@example.com; Becky Quick, of CNBC, at BerkshireQuestions@cnbc.com, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, of The New York Times, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“From the questions submitted, each journalist will choose the dozen or so he or she decides are the most interesting and important.
“The journalists have told me your question has the best chance of being selected if you keep it concise, avoid sending it in at the last moment, make it Berkshire-related and include no more than two questions in any email you send them. (In your email, let the journalist know if you would like your name mentioned if your question is selected.)
“Neither Charlie nor I will get so much as a clue about the questions to be asked. We know the journalists will pick some tough ones, and that’s the way we like it.”
Now I like all three of these business journalists and think they’re among the top dozen in the field, but I’m still bothered by their participation in the event because it gives the appearance that they’re favoring Berkshire Hathaway, a company that each of them covers.
If it wasn’t Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most respected CEOs and companies in the world, would media outlets allow their business journalists to participate in such an event?
UPDATE: One respected business journalist wrote to Talking Biz News and stated, “I wish other companies would open up their meetings to the press or participate in some sort of journalist panel. This process brings some real light to these meetings. Before journalists were allowed to ask questions at the Berkshire Hathaway meeting, it had devolved into a love-a-thon that provided very little insight.”
Fair enough. I just don’t like business journalists being involved in company-led meetings. That’s just my opinion.