Monthly Archives: November 2009
Flamm reports, “The column, which will debut in the Dec. 21 issue of the magazine, is being promoted almost as an extension of Mr. Rose’s nightly show. It ‘will showcase smart conversations with the best thinkers, CEOs, politicians and other newsmakers,’ according to a Monday statement from Bloomberg.
“Mr. Rose won’t have much competition in the category of celebrity columnists writing for the weekly. Longtime contributors to the magazine, Jack and Suzy Welch, recently announced they were moving on, and CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo will also disappear from the magazine’s pages following the transition.
“Approximately 100 BusinessWeek staffers have lost their jobs as Bloomberg has taken control of the property in recent weeks.
“Mr. Rose already has a relationship with Bloomberg. His show is rebroadcast nightly on the Bloomberg Television cable network, and it’s taped in a Bloomberg studio.”
Read more here.
Michael Calderone of Politico reports that New York Times senior correspondent Stephen Labaton, who has covered business-related stories from its Washington bureau, is leaving the paper via buyout.
Calderone writes, “‘I just thought it was, for me personally, a good time to consider doing something else,’ Labaton told POLITICO by phone. Labaton, who came to the paper straight from law school in 1986, said he doesnâ€™t expect to work in journalism next.
“Most recently, Labaton has been a senior writer at the paper covering the financial crisis, and in his 23 years at the Times, has written extensively on regulatory and telecommunications issues.”
Read more here. Labaton graduated from Tufts University and received a master’s degree in philosophy and a law degree from Duke University. His recent coverage has focused on moves by the federal government to impose stricter regulations on Wall Street and banking.
Labaton has written extensively about the impact on worker and consumer safety of the Bush administrationâ€™s sweeping deregulation of industry. He won the 2003 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism for his coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which prompted chairman Harvey Pittâ€™s resignation.
In 2003, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in national reporting as part of a team of Times business reporters.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
The deal by Bloomberg LP to acquire BusinessWeek magazine is expected to close on Tuesday, Dec. 1, so the BusinessWeek staff plans to have farewell drinks Monday night for the employees who won’t be moving to the new owner.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg plans to throw a party on Tuesday to celebrate the close of the deal. UPDATE: A Bloomberg staffer sends along the following invitation, which calls the event a “reception” for its new BusinessWeek colleagues.
The BusinessWeek festivities — goodbye to departing staffers — are scheduled to begin this evening at 5:30 at the Playwright’s Tavern, just around the corner from the McGraw-Hill building, on the third floor.
With many BusinessWeek staffers leaving Tuesday, and the latest issue of the magazine going to the printers on Wednesday night, there’s concern among those remaining as to how exactly the issue will get out on time.
“I’m going in today to try and do some advance editing,” said one staffer this weekend.
One staff member said that the BusinessWeek finance team is already working with reporters at Bloomberg to try to pull together a story for the next issue, and expects some Bloomberg writers to take over the columns inside the weekly, including the one written by Gene Marcial on Wall Street.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief John Bussey sent out the following e-mail to staff members on Monday:
“Iâ€™m pleased to announce a promotion and two new additions to the Washington bureau:
“Matthew Rose will become deputy Washington bureau chief when Jake Schlesinger moves to Japan in mid-December to take on his new role as Japan editor. Matthew is currently an assistant Washington bureau chief in charge of coverage of economic policy and the transformation of the governmentâ€™s role in U.S. industry, among other topics. Matthew joined the Journal in 1995 in London. He has covered a range of beats including European technology and, after moving to New York, the U.S. media. He was an editor on page one for four years before joining the Washington bureau in 2007. Matthew is a graduate of Merton College, Oxford, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
“Peter Wallsten has joined the Washington bureau to cover national politics. He was recently the national politics reporter at the Los Angeles Times in Washington. He previously covered the White House for the LA Times and regional and national politics for the Miami Herald, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Congressional Quarterly, and the St. Pete Times. Peter co-authored a book on Republican Party strategy in 2005. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1994, where he was editor of The Daily Tar Heel.
“Tom Catan has joined the bureau to cover antitrust and other legal and regulatory affairs. He was most recently the Journalâ€™s correspondent in Madrid. Previous to that assignment, Tom was the Spain correspondent for The Times of London and spent several years at the Financial Times, where he was energy correspondent, an investigative reporter, and was posted to both New York and Argentina as a foreign correspondent. Tom also worked for a year at Dow Jones Newswires in New York in the late 1990s, was co-editor of a magazine on business in Mexico, and reported for two years at the Mexico City Times. Tom is a graduate of the London School of Economics.”
CNBC‘s Charles Gasparino was on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, where host Howard Kurtz asked him about coverage of the financial meltdown.
Here is an excerpt:
GASPARINO: We all failed. Now, that is true. But remember the context I gave you.
And here’s the problem. Here’s my problem with blaming the press. Now, you know, if you look at a bubble, there’s a degree of mass hysteria going on. And if you look at what was going on — and this is the last 10, 20 years — you know, there weren’t very many people on the inside that thought something was wrong.
You know, think about major scandals, Watergate, for instance, right? There was somebody on the inside that saw something wrong.
What’s interesting about this, this bubble, is that a lot of people on the inside didn’t think anything was wrong.
KURTZ: But Charlie, there were all those risky loans, all those subprime loans. Those signals were there.
GASPARINO: But Howie, be precise in what you’re asking me. Should we have known about the housing bubble blowing up, or should we have known about the banking crisis? What are you asking?
KURTZ: What I’m asking is, isn’t it quite apparent, in retrospect — and some people did the stories and they often ran on inside pages of the newspapers — that journalists were not vigilant enough in looking at the degree of risk that was pumped into the economy by these Wall Street geniuses who you now properly, I think, blame for nearly blowing up the U.S. economy?
GASPARINO: Right. Well, I blame the government, too. And you see, you have to look at it — I think that’s too simplistic of a question.
Read more here.
Tom Jackson of the Sandusky Register in Ohio writes about some of the issues facing business reporters in covering Black Friday.
Jackson writes, “The task involved talking to store managers, asking hard-hitting investigative journalism questions such as ‘Are you offering special bargains?’ and ‘When are you opening Friday?’
“Many stores seemed fine with the free publicity, but some companies ban their local outlets from answering even the safest questions.
“When I called Toys R Us to check a report that it would open at midnight Friday, a store employee put me on hold to summon a manager. I asked him when the store would open Friday, and he insisted he could not tell me.
“‘All comments will be made by the corporate level,’ he told me.
“The manager at Kohl’s wouldn’t talk to me either, but offered to give me a phone number for a corporate spokesman hundreds of miles away if I wanted to ask about plans for the Sandusky store. I told her no thanks.”
Read more here.
Flamm writes, “This summer, the financial information giant hired Time Inc. veteran Michael Dukmejian as the title’s first full-time publisher, and he’s been busy pumping up advertising. Revenue â€” down 11% for the year â€” rose 14% for the December issue.
â€œ’From our standpoint,’ he says, all the attention ‘has been helpful. A lot of people are asking questions about us,’ including advertisers.
“Mr. Dukmejian’s plans include opening sales offices in San Francisco and Chicago, growing circulation to 400,000 copies from 315,000 over the next three years, and telling readers who aren’t terminal subscribers about the title’s award-winning stories. ‘One of our goals,’ says editor Ronald Henkoff, ‘is to get these articles in front of a wider group of people.’”
Read more here.
Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman, who died earlier this week, is remembered by a number of journalists and sources on Saturday.
Felix Salmon of Reuters writes, “Pittman was an aggressive, old-school journalist, who was in his element going after big Wall Street institutions. Like most of the journalists Iâ€™ve criticized, he never responded to my blog entry, and I never met or spoke to him. Thatâ€™s very much my loss: Iâ€™m sure I would have learned a lot. But Pittman had bigger fish to catch. His loss to the profession is irreplaceable.”
J. Jennings Moss, the editor of Portfolio.com, writes, “What does matter is that Mark Pittman was doing the kind of provocative journalism that treads new ground and rings alarms. As business journalism gets downsized and stated opinions seem to matter more than the facts theyâ€™re based on, itâ€™s important to remember what one talented reporter can do. And itâ€™s crucial Pittmanâ€™s approach to business news isnâ€™t forgotten.”
Chris Whalen of The Big Picture writes, “Mark was a great reporter and a great friend.Â He prized accuracy over timeliness at a time when many people in the media donâ€™t know the difference.Â He led the legal effort to force the Fed to open the books on AIG and the many other bailouts. I owed him a phone call last week and now must wait to return it and his many favors.Â We actually got to take in a Yankees game a couple of years ago and I now appreciate how important and fleeting are those moments.Â Â Mark will be missed but the fight continues.”
ZeroHedge.com writes, “Zero Hedge staffers met with Mark days before his death at which point we discovered he was working on a major financial expose. We would be humbled to pick up the torch and bring his last opus to closure. We are sure Bloomberg News will keep Mark’s spirit alive, and will continue his lifelong pursuit of eliminating secrecy and opacity, and bringing truth and justice to all corners of high finance.Mark shall be missed.”
Mark Pittman, the award-winning investigative reporter whose fight to open the Federal Reserve to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and win, died on Wednesday, according to a Bloomberg story. He was 52.
Bob Ivry writes, “A former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, Pittman wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in financial journalism, for ‘Wall Streetâ€™s Faustian Bargain,’ a series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage industry.
‘He was one of the great financial journalists of our time,’ said Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics. ‘His death is shocking.’
“Pittmanâ€™s fight to make the Fed more accountable resulted in an Aug. 24 victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the publicâ€™s right to know about the central bankâ€™s more than $2 trillion in loans to financial firms. He drew the attention of filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who gave him a prominent role in their documentary about subprime mortgages, ‘American Casino,’ which was shown at New York Cityâ€™s Tribeca Film Festival in May.
“‘Who sues the Fed? One reporter on the planet,’ said Emma Moody, a Wall Street Journal editor who worked with Pittman at Bloomberg. ‘The more complex the issue, the more he wanted to dig into it. Years ago, he forced us to learn what a credit- default swap was. He dragged us kicking and screaming.’”
Read more here.
Kelly writes, “A Bloomberg HR person was sent to address some of the surviving editors and writers of BusinessWeek, which is being bought by Mayor Mike Bloomberg‘s company, and welcome them to the new company.
“Bloomberg is famous for perks such as free coffee and edibles.
“‘When you hear the word Bloomberg, what do you think of?’ asked the HR person.
“‘Snacks!’ yelled a BusinessWeek staffer.
“‘Very good,’ said the Bloomberg rep. ‘And why do you think we do that?’
“‘Because you don’t want us to leave our desks?’ said someone in the rear.
“‘No,’ she said. ‘Because we care about you.’”
Read more here.Â