Monthly Archives: March 2008
Marisa Guthrie of Broadcasting & Cable interviews CNBC‘s Charles Gasparino, who has a confrontational style — with his co-workers — on the air.
Here is an excerpt:
So whatâ€™s with all the verbal scuffles? Dennis Kneale seemed genuinely offended when you joked that he was also a client of a high-priced prostitution ring. Should you tone it down a notch?
When you do live TV, sparks fly. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s good about it. Itâ€™s impromptu and weâ€™re both big enough boys to forget about it when it happens.
The subprime collapse and the pending acquisition of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase have certainly kept you and everyone else at CNBC busy. How has the way youâ€™re reporting it changed?
Weâ€™ve been doing it nonstop for a year now. There is a premium here on breaking news. The way the world is working, these mega-media empires, News Corp. with Fox, GE with NBC, Bloomberg, weâ€™re seeing the convergence of skill sets of reporters. To be a reporter who can actually write it, who can go on the air and report it and analyze it, thatâ€™s the reporter of the future because all of these news organizations are placing a premium on convergence. This is what CNBC is trying to do with CNBC.com: write it, get on the Web, and the Web traffic drives viewers to TV.
Read more here.
The New York Times business desk is seeking to hire three new business journalists to expand its online news presence with blogs and online sections devoted to energy and the economy, according to internal job postings provided to Talking Biz News by one staff member.
The staff member says, “It shows how aggressively we’re responding to Murdoch’s WSJ.”
The jobs are for an online reporter and an online editor covering the energy industry and an online editor for economics coverage.
The online energy reporter, according to the job posting, will work on “a new online section devoted to energy industries and technologies, with an emphasis on alternative energy and green business. This journalist, in articles and/or blog postings, would cover the business and policy angles of reconciling energy use with environmental concerns. Some of the work may also appear in the print edition.”
As for the economics editor position, that person will “be the main contributor to the blog, helping to establish its voice, and a primary creative force behind the section, which would mix the day’s news with economic insights. He/she will monitor major economic reports and blogs, may assign or edit work from reporters or other contributors, and will stimulate feedback from the site’s readers.”
Brian Toolan, a national editor at the Associated Press, has been named the new Philadelphia Inquirer business editor, according to a memo posted on the Romenesko site.
He succeeds Tony Gnoffo, who is going back to reporting. The Inquirer business section has been the talk of the business journalism community in the past year because it now has a bank that sponsors a column called “Philly Inc.” The bank has its logo in the section’s masthead.
Vernon Loeb, deputy managing editor for news, writes, “Brian currently oversees all daily and enterprise reporting nationally for the AP, managing 65 domestic news bureaus, the 35-editor National Desk, the Health & Science Desk and the National Reporting Team. The Hartford Courant, under Brianâ€™s leadership from 1998 to 2006, won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
“Locally, Brian is still best known and fondly remembered for the 16 years he spent at our sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, from 1982 to 1998, where he started as a layout editor in sports and went on to become sports editor, assistant managing editor for news and, ultimately, managing editor.
“Brian is a 1972 graduate of St. Bonaventure University and began his distinguished career in journalism at the Scranton Tribune as a reporter and sports writer. He resides in New Hope and, as of two weeks from today, will no longer have to make the arduous early morning commute to Manhattan.”
Read more here.
TheDeal.com executive editor Yvette Kantrow notes Monday that New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin‘s scoop last week about J.P. Morgan upping its offer to purchase Bear Stearns signifies that it knew it had the story to itself.
Kantrow wrote, “Unlike many scoops these days, it was strictly a print affair; it did not appear on the Times’ Web site Sunday night before showing up in the paper’s Monday edition.
“That decision indicated a fair amount of certainty by the Times that it was alone on this story and was in little danger of being beaten by its (temporarily) downtown rival, The Wall Street Journal. It guessed right. The WSJ’s front page Monday was starkly devoid of any Bear Stearns news, as was the rest of the paper. The omission was glaring, given how effectively the WSJ had covered Bear the previous week.
“And it did not go unnoticed by the media punditocracy. Over at Slate, Jack Shafer pinned the Journal’s ‘getting trounced on the month’s biggest business story’ squarely on Rupert Murdoch, who is keen on broadening the paper’s focus beyond business news.”
Read more here.
Fortune magazine writer Jessi Hempel writes in the latest issue about what makes business news cable channel CNBC so successful.
Hempel writes, “At CNBC, broadcast veteran Mark Hoffman has added edge and emotion to a network that was heavily criticized in the run-up to the tech bust for its rah-rah business take on the news. Hoffman was in fact the news director there before leaving to run a local NBC station. When he returned as president in 2005, ratings had hit their lowest level since the channel launched in 1989, and primetime was given over to reruns of the Conan O’Brien Show, as well as fare like tennis pro John McEnroe’s talk show, which sometimes earned a Nielsen rating of 0.0.
“Hoffman, who came up with a four-part mantra for the channel — fast, accurate, actionable, unbiased — began his CNBC tenure wandering the newsroom floor, checking in with reporters directly. ‘Mark is remarkable because he says, ‘Tell me what you need.’ And we get it,’ says Jim Cramer of Mad Money.
“Hoffman describes CNBC’s formula for investotainment this way: ‘We’re always looking for qualitative combat on the air. Most of these conversations live somewhere between fear on one end and greed on the other. One person wants to unload something, and another person wants to pick it up.’ His boss Jeff Zucker, in charge of NBC Universal, credits him with changing both the management team behind the scenes and the on-air look of the network.”
Read more here.
Andrew Osterland of Financial Week writes about bank analyst Richard Bove, who has become quite the quote hound in the business press.
Osterland wrote, “Mr. Boveâ€™s willingness to make such calls has made him one of the more sought-after bank analysts, especially in the business journalism community. (A Factiva search shows Mr. Bove cited in 240 stories in major media outlets in 2007, up from 177 in 2006. Heâ€™s been quoted another 117 times so far in 2008.) Institutional investors regularly rate the 35-year veteran of the field as one of the most influential banking analysts in the market.
“Not bad, considering Mr. Bove plies his trade from the modest platform of Punk Ziegel & Co., a small New York City investment bank that was recently bought by crosstown financial services firm Ladenburg Thalmann.
“A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Bove issued a memo to media representatives stating that he would no longer make his research available to them or return calls to reporters because on ‘news days’ he was routinely fielding 30 calls or more from the media. Fortunately, Mr. Bove made some time to discuss his recent change of heart on the banks with Financial Week.”
Read more here.Â
Andrew Morse will become San Francisco bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires, according to an internal e-mail from managing editor Linda Fung.
The position is a new one at Dow Jones Newswires.
Fung wrote, “In his new role, Andrew will oversee the bureauâ€™s coverage of technology, energy and late breaking equities news in North America. Andrew starts on July 1 and he will report to me. Â
“Andrew brings to his new job a wealth of experience covering business news. He is a familiar face to many Dow Jones colleagues as he has been a Tokyo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal since 2004, where he covered investment banking, mergers and acquisitions and general financial markets.
“Prior to Dow Jones, his journalism career included working at The Daily Deal as a senior writer in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries; he was a senior news editor for The Industry Standard where he supervised four international reporters and financial news coverage on the West Coast; he covered fixed-income and banking at Bloomberg News; was a correspondent and acting deputy for corporate news at Reuters and has also worked as an international editor and reporter at The Street.com.
“Please join me in wishing Andrew the best in his new role.”
Lucia MosesÂ of Adweek writes about why The Economist magazine is the No. 1 publication on Adweek’s annual Hot List.
Moses writes, “American cultureâ€™s loving embrace of The Economist coincides with its stunning business successes here in recent years. Racking up impressive ad and circulation numbers, the news and opinion title has blown past other newsweeklies and business magazines, many struggling to redefine their mission in the digital age. In recognition of the titleâ€™s remarkable performance, publisher Paul Rossi and editor [John] Micklethwait are AdweekMediaâ€™s Executive Team of the Year. The magazine also earned the top spot on this yearâ€™s Magazine Hot List.
“The London-based Economist began publishing in 1843, but its becoming a force in the U.S. is a relatively recent development, the result of geopolitical events and the publisherâ€™s own strategic moves. Before the â€™80s, the brand had no U.S. ad sales presence. Then came 9/11. Three years later, parent The Economist Newspaper Ltd. identified the U.S., along with India and Asia, as growth markets for new readers and advertisers. In January 2005, the company tapped Rossi, a longtime Economist ad salesman who at the time served as publisher of its Web site, to be publisher of the North American print edition and its extensions. Last December, Rossi added the title of executive vp of The Economist Group North America.
“While certainly well-respected, The Economist suffered under the perception that it was difficult to read and was a pure business magazine. To change that, it launched marketing blitzes in major markets including Boston, Baltimore and Denver. Readers and advertisers responded in a big way.”
Read more here.
Charles Stebbins, a former business reporter for the Roanoke Times, died Sunday from a stroke, according to a story in Monday’s newspaper.
Mike Allen wrote, “While Frances Stebbins wrote about churches and religion, her husband ran the bureau covering Roanoke County and Salem for 10 years, sending in stories using a teletype machine from an office on Roanoke College’s campus.
“Later he was made a business reporter, writing a consumer reports column called Quickline.
“Charles Stebbins never interjected his own opinions on the topics he covered — though he once made an exception on the topic of baseball. Though he once professed to being a fan of the sport, Stebbins tucked a note into a biography kept on file at The Roanoke Times. ‘With greedy players and mercenary owners, baseball is no longer a sport. It is a cutthroat business,’ he wrote. ‘This applies to most professional sports in the later decades of the 20th century.’
“Stebbins was old school. Over his lifetime he needed to write only about a dozen corrections for his stories, which never wasted words. He had little use for ‘flowery language,’ his wife said.”
Read more here.
Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz takes a look Monday at how The Wall Street Journal has changed in the four months since it has been owned by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, with more hard news on the front page and more political coverage.
Kurtz writes, “In the four months since Rupert Murdoch took over the nation’s leading financial newspaper, the front page has assumed a harder edge, particularly on politics, establishing the Journal as a high-profile player in the presidential campaign.
“Murdoch is ‘clearly interested in challenging the journalistic establishment,’ says Robert Thomson, the former editor of Murdoch’s Times of London, in his first public comments as Journal publisher. ‘I think American journalism has some soul-searching to do. American newspapers generally have kept up poorly with change. . . . If there’s a presumption that what you might call New York Times journalism is the pinnacle of our profession, the profession is in some difficulty.’
“The swipe at the Times is no accident. Murdoch and his lieutenants, who have made clear they want to challenge the paper for national supremacy, are not above a little trash-talking toward that end.
“‘Mr. Murdoch wants to see the paper take on added urgency and broaden its areas of coverage,’ says Marcus Brauchli, the Journal’s top editor. ‘He’s very engaged in news. He knows what’s going on. He’s got good strong ideas about journalism.’”
Read more here.