Monthly Archives: March 2009
Pandora Young of Fishbowl LA is reporting that there have been major layoffs at Enterpreneur magazine and its Web site.
Young writes, “Irvine-based Entrepreneur Magazine and the Entrepreneur.com website have seen their editorial staff decimated this week. We hear from former employees that the layoffs include the executive editor, the managing editor, the online editor, an associate editor, the special projects editor, a staff writer and 2 editorial assistants. Who’s left?
“The company had already suffered a number of layoffs last August, which an Entrepreneur press release described as a ‘reorganization of its editorial department as part of its strategy to combine the company’s print and online content development teams.’ Sounds like more work, less money to us.”
Read more here. In the past nine months, Entrepreneur named Mike Kessler as deputy editor, Mike Werling as managing editor and Charlotte Jensen as executive editor.
The Kansas City Star, a McClatchy newspaper, will be cutting its standalone business section from Wednesday through Saturday, according to a Kansas City Business Journal.
Its Tuesday tabloid will remain. The paper had cut its standalone Sunday business section last year.
The story states, “The Star will combine its business section on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday into the new single section, according to the e-mail. The paperâ€™s Tuesday business tabloid section will continue as a stand-alone section.
“The Star will combine its sports and classified sections every day except Sunday. FYI will continue to be a stand-alone section except on Thursday, when it will be combined with the Preview section, as it currently is, according to the e-mail.
“The Sacramento-based company â€” publisher of The Sacramento Bee and 29 other daily newspapers â€” has been aggressively cutting costs, with three rounds of buyouts and layoffs during the past year.”
Read more here. Other McClatchy newspapers to cut their standalone business sections this year include the Fresno Bee, Charlotte Observer and Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Meanwhile, Star business editor Chris Lester is leaving for a job at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He’s been trying to recruit a new business editor before his departure.
Peter Kafka of All Things Digital writes Tuesday that Forbes magazine is laying off another 50 employees in its editorial and business operations.
Kafka writes, “The cuts are roughly proportional to the ones the business publication made in November and January when it consolidated its Web and magazine operations.
“During the last round of cuts, Forbes attributed at least some of the layoffs to the integration of the two staffs. This time around, there canâ€™t be any reason beyond the fact that the miserable economy has been especially rough on magazines in general and business titles specifically.
“Iâ€™ve asked Forbes officials for details and will update if I get any. (Disclosure: Iâ€™m a former Forbes employee.)”
Read more here.
Adam Davidson, international business and economics correspondent for National Public Radio, talks with Zachary Seward of the Neiman Journalism Lab about how he and colleague Alex Blumberg cover business news differently than the rest of the media world.
Here’s an excerpt:
Davidson: I mean, Iâ€™ve been thinking, I wanna do like a story or something. I feel like the voice of business journalism, in particular, needs to change. I mean, probably the voice of all journalism, maybe. â€˜Cause itâ€™s very similar â€” I was in Iraq for a long time, and it was very similar there, where the more certain someone was, the more you knew they were wrong. My wife used to joke â€” she was in Iraq with me â€” and she used to joke that you can tell how long someone has been in Iraq, a reporter, by how certain they are about things. The more certain they are, the less time theyâ€™ve been in Iraq. And the same with this financial crisis. Nobody saw it coming. Even the people who saw bits and pieces of it, did not see the whole thing. And nobody, I donâ€™t think a single person, had the background to understand all the financial instruments, all the interconnections. The world just doesnâ€™t work that way. These were, you know, very specialized areas of finance that suddenly became linked by this global chain.
So, the voice â€” I feel like the voice of business journalism is sort of, itâ€™s an authoritative voice of God. “Today, the stock market rose 3.8% on news of unemployment rising and anticipation of the Fed cutting its interest rates.” And, you know, I know before I was a business journalist, as a consumer, I didnâ€™t know much about business, and thereâ€™s a guy in a suit, who seems like he knows what heâ€™s talking about, and heâ€™s saying things with a very strong, authoritative voice, and what this crisis taught us is all those people were missing the most fundamental things. Those people â€” Like, itâ€™s almost absurd! Like you could do like a skit about how silly it was. And there is no voice anymore. There is no authority. I mean, there are better ideas and worse ideas; there are people who are closer to the truth and further away from the truth. But there is â€” I donâ€™t wanna say itâ€™s all up in the air, everyone believe whatever you want. I think people can believe some dangerous and stupid things. But there is no authority. Itâ€™s a process. Itâ€™s a constant process. I change my mind hourly on this crisis, and I fundamentally revise my thinking all of the time. And everybody does. I mean, the smart academics I talk to, the smart business people I talk to â€” everyone is trying to figure this out, to begin with. And I would like to find a way â€” I think weâ€™re starting to find a way to represent that.
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Lisa Gibbs, the executive business editor at the Miami Herald, has resigned from the paper to return to Money magazine, where she previously worked, as a senior writer.
Gibbs, who is a member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers board of directors, says that the decision was primarily personal and has nothing to do with the downsizing at the Herald.
Her last day at the Herald is Friday. Gibbs will start at Money in April, focusing on consumer and financial frauds.
Writes Gibbs: “Quite simply, I love my job as Business Editor (and am happy to leave with two years of SABEW Best in Business awards behind me!) but as my children have gotten older, managing the responsibilities of parenting with the demands of a busy department has become more and more challenging. When my daughter started middle school this year, making both kids in middle school, I just looked up and said, hmmm. Can’t be working these hours.
“Working at Money allows me to work again with an editor I respect and like, Craig Matters (who I worked with before over the years), and experience the joys of beat reporting and writing again while working at home and spending more time with my family.
“It is true that my timing is coincident with a round of layoffs at the Herald, and while the section will suffer some losses along with the rest of the newsroom, I can tell you that the Herald will KEEP its standalone Business section.”
Gibbs joined theÂ Herald in 2004, after five years with Money magazine writing about personal finance and investing. Before that, she worked for a variety of South Florida business publications, including Florida Trend magazine and the Daily Business Review, where her favorite beat wasÂ bankruptcy court. She is a graduate of the University of Miami, with a bachelor’s degree in economics and journalism
BusinessWeek magazine won the magazine/specialty publications category in the 2008 Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards.
Keith Epstein, Brian Grow, Ben Elgin, Cliff Edwards and Chi-Chu TschangÂ were the staff writers for the winning entry, a series calledÂ ”Cyber-War.”
The judges stated, “More frightening to read than a modern techno-thriller novel, BusinessWeek’s real-life series of stories on the growing cyber-war between East and West rivets the reader with dozens of breaches in American security networks.Â The writers pieced together seemingly unconnected online security problems at several federal departments to reveal a wide-scale problem. Â
“Working at levels where government security made reporting extremely difficult, the stories resulted in a change in Pentagon contracting policy and briefing procedures for military and intelligence officials.Â Â The series shows work on a global scale that reaches the highest levels of government policy.”
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Nicole Wong, a business reporter at the Boston Globe, volunteered to be laid off from her job so that another journalist could remain at the paper. She’s now looking for work.
In an e-mail to Talking Biz News, Wong states, “One co-worker yesterday jokingly marveled that it hadn’t made Romenesko yet. I told him: I’m not prominent enough!
“Today’s my last day at the Globe. I will be in the office this afternoon to pack up and call sources.”
Wong joined the Globe in 2007. Before that she was in Silicon Valley at the San Jose Mercury News for 5.5 years, most recently as a business and technology reporter covering the computer industry (Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems), tech culture and workplace issues.
Ironically, she was also laid off from the Mercury News. Wong says that finding the Globe job after that experience gives her confidence currently.Â In 2007, Wong was named one of the top business journalistsÂ below the age of 30 by TJFR Group/NewsBios.Â
Wong covered workplace issues and the business and culture of travel, transportation and tourism for the Globe.
On her Facebook page, Wong writes that her decion was based on covering unemployment during the past few years.
She writes, “I was hoping I’d get to be the one who breaks the news to you that I’ve volunteered to be laid off from the Boston Globe in order to save the job of a reporter who has less seniority than me and who has greater needs to stay in the Boston area due to family commitments and other obligations. But who am I kidding? This is a newsroom!
“This wasn’t an easy decision to make. I’ve loved working with all of you, learning from all of you, and having fun alongside all of you. I’ve loved covering the travel beat for the past 1.5 years, and I would have loved to continue reporting on that here for years to come. But I realized — after weeks of talking to worried coworkers and overhearing them fret to whomever happened to be on the phone — that at least it should be less of a hardship for me to find a job since I’m more mobile than my colleagues who have spouses, kids, mortgages, and more. (This is probably the first time I’m relieved to not even have a boyfriend or a house!)
“I know some people will worry that I don’t know what an awful job market I’m jumping into. Rest assured, I know it’s dire. In the hours before I confirmed to the Globe that I still wanted to volunteer for a layoff, I was at a conference watching a senior economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and two travel industry researchers explain charts forecasting how much deeper we’ll slide into the worst recession since the Great Depression.”
Tom Glocer, the CEO of Thomson Reuters, the parent company of the Reuters news service, received $36.6 million in total compensation in 2008, according to a story by Financial Post reporter John Greenwood.
Greenwood writes, “The largest component of Mr. Glocer’s pay package was a one-time grant of 700,000 restricted share units that will vest 20% each year for five years providing that performance goals are met.
“What is described in the filings as Mr. Glocer’s ‘normal annual compensation’ came in at US$8.9-million.
“Last year Mr. Daleo went home with US$6-million in normal annual compensation with Mr. Smith receiving US$5.2-million.
“Less than 20% of the total take-home of top executives is described as base salary. The rest is a mix of cash and stock incentives, pension entitlements and ‘other’ compensation.
“Disclosure of executive compensation at the data and media giant comes at a time when companies around the world are under pressure from shareholders to keep a lid on management pay.”
Read more here.
The following memo was sent by Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson to the paper’s staff to further explain to reporters how they will now file breaking news stories.
It follows a memo Thomson sent on March 19 in which he states that the paper’s reporters will now be judged by how much breaking news they produce.
Here is a modest introduction drafted by Neal Lipschutz and Gerry Baker to the new system of filing scoops, scheduled to be implemented on April 15. For some of the more seasoned among you, the format will be strikingly familiar â€“- until recent years, WSJ journalists were customarily expected to file for the Newswires. We now have an added incentive with the income inclemency in the news industry, but the fundamental goal is connecting instantly the best of WSJ news with our broader network and new platforms.
Filing URGENTS and UPDATES
URGENTS report breaking news. This is genuine, proprietary Wall Street Journal journalism. Of highest value is news that might affect a decision to buy or sell a stock, bond, bar of gold or barrel of oil. Scoops, exclusive interviews, news that arises during press conferences not covered live by TV or radio, and exclusive interviews with CEOs are all examples of URGENTS. Newswires subscribers have very granular interests, so some industry or company news that a Journal reporter might not think relevant for the WSJ Franchise could be extremely relevant for Newswires. (However, an economic report, a company press release, an analystâ€™s report or a publicly issued statement by a government official is not material for an URGENT.)
URGENTS are to be considered the first outlet for our journalism. We do not hold stories for publication either later that day or in the next dayâ€™s paper unless there is an absolutely compelling case to do so. The bar for this judgment will be set very high. In all cases, a request to delay publication must be referred instantly to the Hub, where Journal, Online and Newswires editors will collectively decide whether to approve a delay.
URGENTS are to be filed READY FOR PUBLICATION. URGENTS are not rough first drafts. They will be published essentially as they appear. The writing may be workmanlike â€“ donâ€™t trade speed for polish â€“ but the stories must not contain errors. The premium on accuracy for URGENTS cannot be overstated. Of course, errors must be corrected as aggressively and quickly as possible, but errors do risk damaging the reputation of Dow Jones and the Journal, and corrections slow publication.
URGENTS are not to include comments, notes, editing comments/questions, queries to the desk from reporters, queries to reporters from the desk, etc.
URGENTS also will be automatically routed to WSJ.COM, so there is no need to file separately to the website. Emailing an URGENT fills every immediate news need.
UPDATES: Right now, many stories are filed to real-time outlets that, while important, donâ€™t meet the test of urgency that is required by the new category of scoops. Still, we want to make these stories available in an easy way to Online, Newswires and others. They just need a new label and address. They will be called UPDATES.
Value-added earnings stories, analyses of all sorts and new information to enhance an already existing story all qualify as UPDATES. Filing UPDATES helps distinguish us through all of our outlets.
As of April 15, we will be retiring the old addresses used to distribute real-time news, including SPEEDY and WSJCOPY. They remain in place until then. We will replace them with a single address that will be circulated in a separate email closer to the date. In a departure from our old system, URGENTS and UPDATES will be filed to the same email address, but distinguished by the contents of their subject lines.
Washington Post managing editors Raju Narisetti and Liz Spayd answered questions online Monday about the paper’s recent changes, including putting business news into the A section.
Here’s a sample:
Washington, D.C.: The answer to Alexandria about the lack of business news this morning certainly did not address his concerns or questions. Was that intentional?
Raju Narisetti and Liz Spayd: The biggest story in this morning’s Post was a business story — on the auto industry. Normally on Monday morning, the business section has been devoted to Washington business with any other business news running in the A section.
With this change, Washington business will get dedicated space Monday-Friday. Rest of the week Business will get its own space inside A section as well as additional space on Page 1, depending on news. The Sunday Business section will be as robust as ever.
Online, we have added Business to home page navigation bar and this morning unveiled additional Business content in a redesigned Business & Economy section.
Read more here.