Monthly Archives: July 2006
William Goggins, a former top editor at Wired magazine, died Sunday while running the San Francisco Marathon, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Reporter Simone Sebastian wrote, “Goggins was a former deputy editor of Wired magazine. Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson said Goggins’ ‘mark on Wired was profound.’
“‘Think of him as being the smartest, fastest, wittiest person you’ve ever met,’ Anderson said Sunday evening. ‘That’s Bill.’
“‘He was a guy who made everything better,’ Anderson said. ‘His voice was the voice of Wired for about a decade. The headlines were very much his voice. He was the longest serving employee for a long time.’”
Read more here. Goggins had left the magazine earlier this year.
Hank Gilgoff, a Newsday reporter who spearheaded the paper’s consumer coverage for decades, died Sunday from a rare liver disorder, according to a story in Monday’s paper. He was 61.
Reporters Jennifer Smith and Erik German wrote, “Those who worked with Gilgoff remembered him as a meticulous, dogged reporter who would patiently sift through the fine print that baffles many people — product warranties, insurance claims and the like — and then challenge companies on their own policies.
“‘Henry had a knack for explaining to people what happens when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do and he had a way of informing us all how to extricate ourselves,’ said Charles Gardner, director of the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs, who worked with Gilgoff for more two decades. ‘He had a way of explaining things in everyday language that everyone could understand.’
“In the years that Gilgoff covered consumer affairs for Newsday, he wrote about everything from lost luggage to a run on a Waldbaum’s Thanksgiving promotion that left several customers one turkey short for the holiday. Recently he profiled the travails of an East Atlantic Beach family whose house — which had been converted to natural gas over a decade ago — was flooded with 222 gallons of heating oil because of a botched delivery.
“‘Henry strongly believed that consumers need a voice and needed somebody to take up their cause,’ said Steve Sink, former Newsday business editor and a colleague of Gilgoff’s for more than 15 years.”
Read more here.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette has overhauled its business section as part of a total revamping of the newspaper, according to a column by executive editor John Dye in Monday’s newspaper.
Among the changes are cutting stock listings and giving business news a section front.
Dye wrote, “You said our business coverage needed an upgrade. We’ve moved Business news front-and-center to Page B-1, Monday through Saturday. We’ll continue to publish our Sunday Business section.
“Those long stock and mutual fund tables are out of date, you said. We’ve replaced them with useful stories and financial data. We’ll still publish a short list of stocks of local interest, and you’ll find instructions on how to track your favorite stocks online â€” free and updated every 15 minutes.”
Read more here.
Pearson PLC, the London-based parent of The Financial Times, reported second-quarter earnings on Monday, and in the details of the press release noted higher circulation and advertising for the business newspaper.
The release stated, “The Financial Times continues to show good momentum, with circulation up 5% and advertising revenues up 11% in the first half.”
In addition, the business newspaper reported a profit for the first half of the year, compared to a loss in the same time period a year ago.
Read the press release here.
Here is a list of the best critics today of business journalism. These rankings are based on my personal opinion from reading their writing for the past year. Feel free to argue.
The point of these rankings is this: The field of business journalism needs to analyze itself so that it can get better. Without such critics, then we’re going to fall back into the positive coverage that dominated the 1990s.
1. Marek Fuchs, TheStreet.com. Marek’s writing about business journalism is both informative to the investor and informative to business journalists. He points out what is wrong in business journalism today, but does so in an entertaining and amusing way. He also doesn’t preach. His “Business Press Maven” column appears as many as three times a week.
2. Yvette Kantrow, DailyDeal.com. I might have ranked Kantrow higher than Fuchs, but she only writes her “Media Maneuvers” column once a week, and then it’s hard to find. The only access to non-subscribers is through the Poynter Romenesko blog, and sometimes the link is not working. Still, Kantrow pulls no punches, and she is always on target. I particularly liked her recent analysis of the Fortune cover of Jack Welch.
3. Jon Friedman, MarketWatch.com. Again, Friedman might be ranked higher, but his media column, which appears thre times a week, doesn’t always cover business journalism. Earlier this year, however, he did a series of columns on business magazines that was on target, particularly with his analysis of BusinessWeek. I also liked his column about Jim Cramer’s antics on CNBC, even though it was attacked by a number of readers.
4. The writers at the Business & Media Institute. This includes Ken Shepherd and Dan Gainor, as well as others. I might rank them higher, but their commentary is typically focused on the political aspects of business journalism, and they are always coming down on the side of free-market economics.
5. Brad DeLong, Cal-Berkeley. An economics professor and former Clinton policy wonk, DeLong’s blog includes some great criticism of economics reporting and how many journalists covering the economy fail to understand the nuances of what’s happening. My only criticism is that sometimes his posts are long, and he only focuses on economic coverage.
6. Gary Weiss. The former BusinessWeek reporter and author of “Wall Street vs. America” does a good job of covering issues related to reporters writing about the stock market and investing. I just wish he’d write more often and share his expertise about business journalism.
7. Columbia Journalism Review’s The Audit. I had such high hopes for this blog when it started last year. However, now I rarely read it. With such resources, I’d like to see something posted about business journalism on daily basis, but that’s not the case. And often, I find myself shaking my head at what is written. It often seems as if the writers don’t know business journalism. Kantrow, DeLong and Weiss have all criticized The Audit this year. More analysis and less smugness, please.
8. NewsHounds. This blog regularly attacks the coverage on Fox, which means it often posts about Neil Cavuto’s business show and the lack of business coverage on it. However, that’s all it does.
9. Watching the Watchers. This is a site that sometimes has good criticism of economics, but it’s mainly about politics. I wish there were more posts like this.
10. Media Research Center. I like the posts about the coverage of gas company profits, even though this web site says it’s dedicated to exposing the “liberal” media bias. Just wish there was more business-related.
Got one you like that I haven’t mentioned?
Business news cable network CNBC is making an attempt to increase its coverage of the world of sports business with the hiring of ESPN.com sports business writer Darren Rovell, one of the best sports business journalists in the country.
The hiring occurred about a month ago, and Rovell is now beginning to produce stories for CNBC. Here is a link to one of Rovell’s first stories for CNBC. It’s about how former Dolphins QB Dan Marino is building a second career as a pitchman for products.
Rovell has been reporting on sports business since 1998 and has served as ESPN.com’s sports business reporter since June 2000. He appeared on numerous ESPN radio affiliate shows, analyzed the sports business world for ESPNEWS, and contributed to ESPN’s flagship “SportsCenter” and investigative shows “Outside the Lines” and “Outside the Lines Nightly.” In 2004, Rovell was named to Newsbios’ “30 Under 30,” a list of the top 30 national business reporters under the age of 30.
Rovell is co-author of “On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business From America’s Sports Leaders,” which was published by Financial Times Prentice Hall in March 2003. His second book, “The First In Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon,” will be published this fall.
Here is an interview with Rovell about covering the business of sports.
The Harrisburg Patriot-News has cut its daily stock listings, noted exectuive editor David Newhouse in a column in Sunday’s paper. The paper had said back in April that it was considering making such a change.
Readers can now get stock prices online on the paper’s Web site, or through a phone service.
Newhouse wrote, “Like any business, we are constantly responding to the needs of our customers, as well as to new technologies.
“Above all, the Internet has changed the way we communicate, shop, do business and find the information we need.
“Nowhere is that more true than in the stock market, where online trading has become the norm and investors can now research information at the touch of a few keys.
“That’s why, starting today, you will find a change in our stock listings. Instead of pages of stocks and mutual funds, you will find a daily summary of the market. Over the coming weeks, we will add even more charts and features to give you a lively snapshot of that day on Wall Street.”
Read more here.
A story in Advertising Age posted on its web site Sunday noted that business news cable network CNBC is seeing an increase in advertising while many other cable networks have seen declines.
The story also noted that CNBC was working on re-launching its Web site near the end of the year.
The story stated, “Separately, one cable-sales executive said CNBC is seeing sales up 20% to 30% over last year, largely due to continued ratings momentum. The network is also launching a new website, CNBC.com, in December (the business-news channel currently directs traffic to MSN’s Money site).”
Read more here.
John Dolan and Catherine Nelson have taken over as co-publishers of New England Business Journals Inc. with the production of the August editions of the Rutland, Valley and Champlain Business Journals, according to an article in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus.
Richard Rohe has stepped down as publisher and Lillian Rohe as editor, though they will continue in those roles for Prime Time Journal, a quarterly publication for Vermonters over age 50.
In 2003, the Rohes sold New England Business Journals to Mitchell Community Media, which also owns the Rutland Herald and the Times Argus.
The Rohes started Rutland Business Journal in 1984. A year later, they started Valley Business Journal, which covers the Upper White River Valley in Vermont and New Hampshire. Champlain Business Journal, which covers the Burlington area and northwestern Vermont, was launched in 1996. All three Journals are published monthly.
Nelson and Dolan assumed the positions of co-publishers July 17. Nelson serves as marketing director, responsible for sales and business operations. Dolan is editor of the three Business Journals, responsible for editorial planning and assigning stories to more than 40 writers across the state.
Dolan had worked at the Rutland Herald for 23 years, serving in nearly every reporting and editing position in the newsroom. He held the position of managing editor for the past two years. A California native, he has lived in Vermont since 1971 and Brandon since 1987.
Read more here.
The Media Research Center, which exposes the “liberal” bias in the media, takes aim at recent coverage of Exxon’s second-quarter profits on the networks’ nightly news shows.
It wrote, “ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson on Thursday night hyperventilated over ‘breathtaking profits’ for ExxonMobil which ‘you paid for…at the pump,’ how the company made ‘more in 30 seconds than many families earn in a year’ and how ‘just’ $4 billion went to exploration while $6 billion went to ‘enriching’ shareholders. But ABC never cited the company’s quarterly profit number — which at $10 billion matches $4 billion plus $6 billion and means 40 percent went for exploration.”
Later, it noted, “NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams cited ‘jaw-dropping profits’ and how for ExxonMobil that ‘translates to about $79,000 a minute in profit,’ but at least he informed viewers of the actual dollar figure:
“‘Second quarter earnings reports have been coming out all week and oil companies have been reporting more jaw-dropping profits. Today the big daddy of them all, ExxonMobil, reported a profit of ten billion, 360 million dollars. That is the second highest profit on record. First place, by the way, belongs to ExxonMobil’s own profit from the last quarter of last year. By the way, that translates to about $79,000 a minute in profit.’”
“CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer refrained from such silly per-minute comparisons.”
Read more here.