Monthly Archives: February 2009
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Bloomberg News plans to hire 30 reporters and editors to improve all aspects of its markets reporting, according to a recorded message delivered by editor-in-chief Matt Winkler to the staff on Friday.
In addition, the New York-based business news service made a number of changes to titles and responsibilities in its operations.
Jeff Taylor becomes managing editor for company newsÂ in theÂ Americas, butÂ remains San Francisco bureau chief. Also, Jim Aley becomes an editor at large, coming from Fortune, where for the past five years he was assistant managing editor.
Jamie Butters becomes theÂ new team leader for transportationÂ for North America. HeÂ came from the Detroit Free Press late last year. Andy Davidson becomes theÂ new team leader for Top — considered the front page for Bloomberg News –in the Americas in New York. HeÂ was a top editor in New York.
Phil Serafino in theÂ Paris bureauÂ becomes new health-care team leader in Europe. He was formerly media team leader in Europe.
Phil Kuntz, formerly managing editor for government news, became an editor at largeÂ in New York. AndÂ Margot Slade becomesÂ an editor on the states and municipalities team.Â She was formerly managing editorÂ of media relations in New York.
Tom Kohn, formerly Hong Kong bureau chief, is now a senior writer on the corporate finance team in Asia, while Mike Anderson, formerly team leader for BritishÂ banksÂ and insurance, now is an editor on the energy markets team.
Patrick Chu in Tokyo, will now be a Top editor. Chu wasÂ formerly managing editor for commidities and energy companies.
Ken Fireman becomes theÂ new managing editor for government teams. Fireman’s former job was asÂ national security reporter.
Tasneem Brogger becomes the news deputy team leader for EEU Economy, relocating to London. Brogger was the former Copenhagen bureau chief. Christian Wienberg, a former speed desk reporter, succeeds Brogger.
Alec McCabe becomes theÂ new team leader for finance in North America. HeÂ most recently was an editor on the finance team.
Willy Morris becomesÂ head ofÂ the BritishÂ banking team.Â Morris was a former team leader inÂ enterprise. And Ned Warwick, editor at large, joined Bloomberg this week in New York,comingÂ from the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for eight years. He will relocate to London later this year.
Melissa Pozsgay becomes theÂ new team leader forÂ the EuropeÂ and Asia enterprise team. SheÂ previously she was enterprise editor.
Finally, Jose Enrique Arrioja is the new Â bureau chief in Mexico City. HeÂ most recently was team leader for the SpanishÂ language television channel based in New York.
Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review interviews Mark Pittman of Bloomberg News about its coverage of the fall of Wall Street, and Pittman believes that the story will last for more than a decade.
Here is an excerpt:
TA: Tell me how your cops background plays into what youâ€™re doing now.
MP: You end up with a big BS detector as a cops reporter because the cops lie to you, the victims lie to you, the people helping the victims lie to you. And youâ€™ve got to sort through and there will be a story that seems a certain way and it just wonâ€™t beâ€”and you know it. Thatâ€™s what this is about.
The reporters who didnâ€™t question the tight, tight spreads [the narrow difference in interest rates offered by Treasury bills and other, less secure instruments] that were going on in corporate [bonds], it was wrong. Where is this demand coming from? How can you guys sell this issue in thirty minutes? Who the hellâ€™s buying this stuff like that? Weâ€™re going to come to the answer that it was going off balance sheet, at least temporarily, and then it might be sold to other customers.
TA: So they were buying it themselves andâ€¦
MP: They were buying it themselves. Yeah. And not every deal. But you know whatâ€”it happened enough. We donâ€™t have enough journalists in America who understand what a spread does, which is the essence of banking. I just finished Deanâ€™s piece in Mother Jones recently. Weâ€™ve got 9,000 business journalists and maybe twenty of them know what a spread is. This is not business journalismâ€™s finest hour. But it is our biggest opportunity ever.
Read more here.
Dave Beal, a longtime business journalist in the Minneapolis area who is now interim executive director for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, argues in the March issue of Twin Cities Busines that the media is not to blame for the current financial meltdown.
Beal writes, “‘You can’t blame this on the press,’ says Steve Leuthold, chief investment officer at Leuthold Group LLC, a financial research and investment firm. “Nobody I knew every talked about the whole credit system seizing up the way it did.’
“Chuck Denny, retired CEO at ADC Telecommunications in Eden Prairie, says, ‘I think the media were doing their job.’
“Claudia Parliament, director of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education in St. Paul, says partly the trouble is rooted in a widespread lack of financial literacy. Given that, it seems unlikely that Americans would heed warnings of economic trouble, regardless of what media outlets said.”
The article is not yet online. The magazine’s Web site is here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Flynn McRoberts, the deputy projects editor at the Chicago Tribune, is leaving the paper to become Chicago bureau chief of Bloomberg News.
It’s the second high-profile hire by Bloomberg from the Tribune newsroom in the past three months. Earlier, the wire service hired Tribune business editor Jim Kirk to take over running its White House and congressional coverage.
McRoberts is a 1989 graduate of Northwestern University. At the Tribune he led teams of reporters for the newspaperâ€™s series on the fall of Arthur Andersen, the bankruptcy of United Airlines, and the Bush administrationâ€™s targeting of Muslim men for deportation after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Andersen series was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting. The deportation series, â€œTossed Out of America,â€? won the 2004 George Polk Award for National Reporting. A Tribune reporter since 1998, he has covered three presidential campaigns, and as an urban affairs reporter chronicled the Chicago Housing Authorityâ€™s efforts to transform some of the nationâ€™s most notorious housing projects.
Previously, McRoberts, an Idaho native, was a Chicago correspondent for Newsweek and an intern for the Miami Herald.
He is replacing Steve Walsh, who has been bureau chief since October 2005. Walsh is also Bloomberg’s enterprise editor.
Before that, Walsh was transportation editor at Bloomberg, and a news editor in the New York office.
Danielle Friedman of Our Town, a newspaper that covers the Upper East Side of New York, profiles Fox Business Network anchor Alexis Glick and examines how she does her work.
Friedman writes, “Minutes after she walks through the studio doors, the stunning, vivacious brunette begins her daily reading marathon, charging through a packet a hundred pages thick to prepare for the upcoming show.
“At 7 a.m. itâ€™s go-time.
“‘You have to be on your toes,’ she said, ‘because you never know what to expect.’ When the cameras roll, Glick is charismatic, skillfully discussing the dayâ€™s financial news and interviewing key players in the business world.
“Of course, she brings her own hard-won financial expertise to the role as well. Before her career in television, Glick was the first and youngest woman to run trading operations for a major investment bank, Morgan Stanley, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.”
Read more here.
Michael Booth of the Denver Post writes Friday about the closing of the Rocky Mountain News, and he interviews some reporters on the paper’s business desk about what it means.
Booth writes, “John Rebchook, who has covered real estate for the Rocky’s business section since 1983, arrived at work about 6:45 a.m. Thursday with a gut feeling that the end was near. Before heading downstairs to the building’s workout room to exercise on the elliptical machine, he spent a half-hour cleaning off his desk.
“‘I just thought I’d better get started,’ he said. ‘I filled a garbage can with notebooks, recycled everything I could. My desk is clean now. This is the first day I came in and thought, ‘This could be the day.”
“Rebchook recalled his early days on the real estate beat in business, when he knew little about either. What began as a learning process in which he constantly asked sources to ‘make it simpler’ evolved into a 26-year gig that ended too abruptly, even though the paper’s closing has loomed for weeks.
“‘Of course, we saw this coming,’ Rebchook said. ‘It’s a little bit like knowing the foundation of the house is weak, but when it collapses, it’s still painful. I still feel sort of numb. And a little sick to my stomach.’”
Read more here.Â
NYTimes.com launched a new energy and environment section, the latest in a series of The Times’s online business news expansion efforts.
The section will include online-only material, video and interactive features as well as articles from the print edition. Among the journalists whose work will be featured are Tom Zeller Jr., editor of the Green Inc. blog; Kate Galbraith, energy reporter; James Kanter, correspondent for the International Herald Tribune; and Andrew C. Revkin, environmental reporter.
Readers will also have unique access to the latest news and headlines from Environment & Energy Publishing’s ClimateWire and Greenwire, which will be featured as part of the new section.
“NYTimes readers understand that energy and environmental decisions made by the private sector, government and consumers are also crucial economic decisions,” said Larry Ingrassia, business editor, The New York Times, in a statement. “This new section will keep our readers abreast of both the business and the social impact of those choices.”
The enhancement is part of The Times’s expansion of its online business coverage that began last summer with an enhanced markets section, including new tools for investors and 6,000 company topic pages; a new economy section, followed by an enhanced technology section with expanded coverage of venture capital and enterprise computing; a suite of new features to the personal technology section; and a relaunched personal finance section, Your Money, in January.
Later this year, The Times will introduce major expansions of its small business and personal technology sections.
John Corrigan, deputy business editor of the Los Angeles Times, has been named the paper’s business editor, replacing Sallie Hofmeister, who is going to oversee paper’s arts and entertainment coverage.
A memo from editor Russ Stanton stated, “John Corrigan, deputy business editor for the past two years, is being promoted to business editor, effective immediately.
“He will head up an ambitious department that has a strong track record of delivering news and enterprise stories for A1, with staffers stationed in Sacramento, San Francisco, New York, Washington and China.
“Over the past eight years, John has compiled an impressive body of work in the Business section. As deputy, he was in charge of the daily report and oversaw the launch of the new Sunday section, which focuses on personal finance. He was the project editor for the 2003 series ‘The Wal-Mart Effect,’ which won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. As markets editor, John directed the 2006 series ‘Retirement at Risk,’ which won first place in business writing from the Associated Press and The Times own editorial award for explanatory journalism.
“He also supervised our coverage of several major and long-running stories, including Ameriquest Mortgage Co.’s predatory lending tactics, the Enron scandal, labor strife at West Coast ports, the California supermarket strike and most recently, the nation’s economic crisis. He also has formidable multimedia skills, having served as executive producer, director, cinematographer and screenwriter of the Business section video classic, ‘Tom Petruno Turns 50.’Â
“John joined the Business section in 2001, after being hired here two years earlier as the night city editor in the Valley, a job that also included overseeing the Valley’s weekly business section. Before that, he worked as a reporter and editor at the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Vista Press. He also is a board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
“He has bachelor’s degrees from Loyola Marymount University and California State University, Northridge.
“John will report to Managing Editor Davan Maharaj.”
The next issue of Fortune magazine will have an apology for an article in the Feb. 2 issue of the magazine that allegedly plagiarized a 2004 New York Times magazine article, and the reporter, Barney Gimbel, has resigned from the business bi-weekly, according to the New York Observer.
John KoblinÂ writes, “When the author of the Fortune story, a young, rising star at the magazine named Barney Gimbel, was presented with the two stories and the lifted passages during an internal investigation, he offered his resignation.
“He sent out an email to staffers Feb. 19 announcing that the next day would be his last.
“‘Hello all, I just wanted to let you know that Friday is my last day at Fortune,’ he wrote in an e-mailÂ Â ’I have enjoyed working with all of you over the past few years and I will look forward to keeping in touch.’
“When we asked a Fortune spokesperson about his departure, she said: ‘We do not comment on personnel issues.’”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
The Rocky Mountain News, one of the two daily newspapers in Denver, announced Thursday that it will publish its last issue on Friday.
Virtually all of the business news desk will be out of a job after that.
Among those losing their jobs are business editor Rob Reuteman and finance editor David Milstead.
Reuteman has been business editor of the Rocky since 1997. He is serving a second term on the board of governors for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He has been an editor at the Rocky since 1983, working previously as city editor, national editor and state/regional editor.
Milstead joined the Rocky in April 2001 from The Wall Street Journal. He covers banking, accounting and corporate finance. Milstead has an economics degree from Oberlin College.
Others losing their jobs are Jane Hoback, assistant editor; Gil Rudawsky, deputy editor; Roger Fillion, high tech, aerospace, and brewing reporter; Joyzelle Davis, retail andÂ health care reporter; Jeff Smith, telecommunications andÂ Internet reporter; John Rebchook, real estate reporter; Chris Walsh, airline reporter; Joanne Kelley, tourism, ski industry, nonprofits andÂ labor reporter; Jamie Paton, finance, economy, sports, mutual funds, and white-collar crime reporter; Marisa Ware, editorial assistant.
Gargi Chakrabarty, energy andÂ mining reporter for the News, has been hired by the Denver Post to cover the same beat.