Monthly Archives: January 2010
Keith Crain, editor in chief of Crain’s Detroit Business, writes on the 25th anniversary of the paper’s founding that its focus hasn’t changed — it still wants to report on the business news in Detroit that others ignore.
Crain writes, “But nobody covered just the business of Detroit. Even then, when you had two robust dailies, they were simply too busy covering car companies, national business news and pages of stock tables. They didn’t have the time, space or the interest in local business news. Obviously, that is even truer today.
“That’s all we covered then and that’s what we do today.
“We started covering all sorts of local businesses that were never reported on before.
“Retail, real estate, health care, education and, yes, government, were surprised that we were interested 25 years ago. They aren’t surprised any longer.”
Read more here.
Robert Terry, an associate editor and Web editor at the Baltimore Business Journal, has been named managing editor ofÂ online and special publications at The Daily Record, a competing business newspaper in the market.
Tom Linthicum, executive editor of The Daily Record, writes, “Terry, who begins work Monday, will oversee all of The Daily Recordâ€™s Web, blog, and social media operations, as well as a host of magazines, reports and newspaper sections on topics of interest to Maryland business and legal professionals.
“He joins Barbara Grzincic, Managing Editor/Law, and Ed Waldman, Managing Editor/Business, on the newspaperâ€™s senior management team.
“‘Rob brings an extraordinary blend of talent and experience to The Daily Record,’ said Executive Editor/Vice President Tom Linthicum. ‘A veteran journalist who has covered business news in Maryland and Baltimore for nearly 15 years, Rob has extensive knowledge of key newsmakers and issues.
“‘In recent years, Rob also has become a leader in online business journalism in this market. We look forward to his many contributions that will help us provide our readers with a more comprehensive news report in print and online that will help us engage our readers in new and exciting ways.’”
Read more here.
The NYTPicker site notes that the Andrew Martin article in the Sunday business section of the New York Times failed to conduct a basic background check on its topic — a businessman who provides loans to small businesses.
That background check would have discovered an arrest for accessing his former employer’s computer system and deleting purchase orders.
NYTPicker writes, “Martin’s story makes no mention of the arrest — or even of any significant information about Eitelberg before 2004, when he founded Hartsko. Martin reports only that Eitelberg worked ‘for years on the financial side of the garment industry, following in the footsteps of his father.’
“Eitelberg told Martin that many of the businesses he worked for ‘struggled to stay afloat and had to seek purchase-order financing’ and that he ‘had an epiphany one day that he was in the wrong business.’
“Interestingly, the crime that Eitelberg was charged with would have given him a leg up in creating his current business — in that he was alleged to have taken purchase orders from his former employer’s computer. But all Martin says about the Hartsko’s start is that he began ‘with a loan from several investors and a $1 million credit line from a bank.’
“The nature of Hartsko’s business, as one of its current clients puts it, is roughly akin to ‘loan sharking.’”
Read more here.
Felix Salmon of Reuters notes that a recent Gallup/First Amendment Center poll shows that 40 percent of Americans think that there needs to be more reporting on President Obama’s economic policies — the highest of any policy — and discusses the problems with such coverage.
Reuters writes, “Firstly, the question asks not about what Americans think of reporting on the economy, but rather what Americans think about the reporting on policies and practices of the Obama administration as they relate to the economy. Historically, reporters who understand economics and finance have generally been in New York rather than Washington — while the Wars and Terrorism reporters have been in Washington all along. But if you’re reporting on the Obama administration’s economic policies, you need to be in DC. The move to DC is happening, but it maybe not happening as quickly as the public would like.
“Secondly, the simple fact is that the Obama administration has been much less good at communicating its economic policy than it has been at communicating its policies on other matters. Tim Geithner is not a great communicator, and the administration’s economic policy in general is very complex: it’s hard to reduce it to a simple choice like ‘Afghanistan: stay or go,’ or ‘Healthcare: should there be a public option or not.’
“More generally, I think the answer to the question is simply a function not of the quality of reporting on the economy, but just of the degree of confusion and anger that Americans have when they look at what has happened over the course of the Great Recession. That’s something that the news media can attempt to address, but it’s a very tough job, and they’re certain to fail with a large amount of Americans a large amount of the time. For all we know, this 40% figure is actually much lower than might be expected given the depth and complexity of the recession.
“Still, I hope that the news media will use the results of this poll to increase the quantity and quality of their economic reporting.”
Read more here.
Andrew Critchlow of Dow Jones Newswires reports that CNBC is examining opening a bureau in Bahrain.
Critchlow writes, “The new bureau will produce regular English-language business programming on the region, where CNBC has a local franchise Arabic service, the people said. The business network is following the example of Time Warner Inc.’s CNN, which recently opened a new regional hub in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“‘CNBC continually looks at opportunities to expand its editorial presence around the world,’ said a spokesman for CNBC, who declined to comment further on any specific plans.
“CNBC’s push in the Middle East comes as NBC Universal and Comcast Corp. seek regulatory approval for a proposed $30 billion tie-up.
“Luring the broadcaster would be a victory for Bahrain, which has struggled to capture international business and investment ahead of neighboring Gulf locations like Dubai. The emirate has traditionally been the regional centre for media investment.”
Read more here.
Toluse Olorunnipa of the Miami Herald writes Saturday about the changes that were made to the PBS show “Nightly Business Report” at the beginning of the year, noting some viewers are upset with the changes.
Olorunnipa writes, “The changes, which include fancier graphics, an increased focus on market analysis and less raw data detailing stock performances, come in the wake of the retirement of Paul Kangas, who co-anchored the show for 30 years.
“NBR’s production team said the revised look and format are part of an attempt to make Nightly Business Report more useful for the 21st Century viewer, since most people no longer have to wait until dinnertime to learn what had happened in the stock market on a particular day.
“‘We wanted to create a program that was as relevant to today’s audience as the program was relevant to the audience that began with the program back in 1979,’ said Rodney Ward, the show’s executive producer. ‘We wanted to do a program that focused more on the analysis rather than just the facts and give people the `why’ of what happened.’
“The new show features longer interviews with economists and political leaders, more commentators fleshing out the details of economic data and the extension of analytical series like ‘Climate Economy,’ which looks at how businesses are dealing with climate change.”
Read more here.
The Motley Fool has launched a new one-hour weekly radio show called “Motley Fool Money” that it’s syndicating to commercial stations across the country.
The show started on a few stations last weekend with a few more — including KTLK in Los Angeles — jumping on board this weekend.Â Other markets include Washington, DC, Portland and Hartford. There’s a link to the audio of the show here.
The show is hosted by Chris Hill and features Motley Fool analysts James Early, Seth Jayson and Shannon Zimmerman. Each show includes a roundtable discussion of the week’s top investing stories, interviews with business leaders and authors, and specific stock ideas.
In an e-mail, Hill said, “If you’re interested you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, but hopefully we’ll land a station in your neck of the woods soon. And by all means, if you happen to be best friends with anyone who runs a talk radio station, have them give me a call! We’re looking to be on as many stations as possible.”
Washington Business Journal editor Doug Fruehling announced some changes to the paper’s coverage in an e-mail obtained Friday by FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic.
The changes are:
- “Working the Room” and “Back Page” writer Jen Nycz-Connor will continue that role but has also taken on the role of media strategy manager aka “buzz generator-in-chief.” Fruehling wrote, “Jen will be in charge of taking our social media efforts to the next level.”
- Associate editor Tim Burn will become the BizSmarts editor and writer. Fruehling stated, “I’ve tasked Tim with re-energizing the special pubs this year, ensuring the content we provide readers in this area is just as good as the rest of our operation.”
- Commercial real estate staff reporter Melissa Castro will transition into a new role as senior staff reporter for features and “Inner Loop.”
- Vandana Sinha, who has covered biotech, energy and environment will now focus on Web and evening editing as a senior staff reporter.
- Staff reporters Tierney Plumb and Sarah Krouse are teaming up to cover all of the commercial real estate in the region.
Read the memo here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman has been in Davos, Switzerland, this week covering the World Economic Forum.
The annual meeting is taking place Jan. 27 through Jan. 31 and features 2,500 leaders from more than 90 countries addressing current challenges and future risks in the global economy.
Claman began reporting live on Wednesday morning with interviews and commentary from industry leaders such as NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer; Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax; and Jim Turley, Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young.
Claman talked to Talking Biz News on Friday via e-mail about covering the event. What follows is an edited transcript.
1. Why do so many business journalists cover Davos?
You get an amazing bang for your buck at Davos. Major business leaders AND policy makers are all in one place. Where else can you interview industry titans from around the globe along with world leaders? It’s a correspondent’s dream and most people here are very serious about global discourse. It’s my first year, and while I haven’t had a minute to breathe, I find it fascinating.
2. How do you make your coverage stand out from others filing stories about the same events?
Fox Business has always focused on doing business news differently. We’re not interested in being an “analyst’s call on television.” If you want black and white balance sheet numbers, you can find that anywhere. But with me I’m way more interested in the less obvious. Of course we are doing dozens of one-on-one interviews but I was asked to moderate a panel last night (Thursday) on renewable energy stimulating global economies and I brought a camera crew to grab people more informally.
We ended up asking Mike Splinter of Applied Materials, Jim Rogers of Duke Energy, Laura Tyson, formerly of the Clinton Administration and now a UC Berkeley professor, along with Tom Friedman of the New York Times about what each one of them gets out of Davos. Jim Rogers, a big CEO from the South, was so excited about what he learns here, telling me it was ideas he heard here at Davos 10 years ago that helped him transform his utility giant into a more clean tech company.
3. Are there chances to get exclusives at Davos, and how?
Sure, you can sometimes land them by establishing good relationships and booking early but everyone here at Davos is interested in spreading the word and ideas, not selfishly holding them to one news outlet. For example, we interviewed Bill Gates Friday, and there is no way he would limit his message about innovation and global health care to just one network. Now, while it is wonderful to slap the big exclusive banner up on the screen for a guest, I’m not that interested in that goal as a driver. I’d like to believe that no matter where in line we stand, we will always do a more natural, compelling and informative interview.
I can’t tell you how many times in my career that I was able to make news during an interview even if I was second or third in line. That said, it is great to be first or exclusive. At Davos this year we have been first with Dr. Toby Cosgrove of the Cleveland Clinic, Joe Moglia of TDAmeritrade, Mike McAllister of Humana, Jim Gianopulos of Fox Filmed Entertainment who green-lit Avatar three years ago, Rick Goings of Tupperware, Shai Agassi of Better Place, Dennis Nally of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Stan Bergman of Henry Schein, Suresh Vaswani of Wipro, and Sanjay Kalra of Tech Mahindra.
My mother, however, thinks this exclusive fight is a very silly battle and always says, “Only you and your competitors notice that stuff.”
4. What preparation work do you do before arriving in Switzerland?
Aside from researching intensively — which I do for every guest no matter where I am — the key to Davos preparation is to have KILLER SNOWBOOTS. I am from L.A., so I’m a wimp. Mine are Sorels that are guaranteed to keep your feet warm down to minus 50 degrees. These are the ones they wear at Base Camp at Everest, okay? I also packed seven cashmere sweaters and scarves, long underwear, ski pants and serious ski gloves. Our live shot location is on a balcony overlooking the Alps and trust me, that wind is bitter. Its like a wide-open, sub-zero freezer.
5. How much source development are you able to do when the CEOs and others always seem to be in meetings?
I have been running around finding people at the Congress Center, handing out cards and just having very direct and focused conversations. Some of the best relationships I am striking are with CEOs right after I interview them. We have tons of Swiss food and amazing hot soup the Holland House folks keep bringing to our location so the CEOs all want to nosh afterward and that is when I start in. That’s how I got a tip that President Clinton would be showing up to the U.N. tent near our live shot location. A CEO I had just interviewed felt comfortable enough after our interview that afterward he quietly whispered to me to watch out for the president and gave me the time. We ran down with our cameras and sure enough, Clinton showed up, and we grabbed a quick soundbite with him about his Haiti initiative.
6. How does Fox Biz try to explain an international event to the small businessman back in the United States?
Don’t undersell small business leaders. They’re sometime more sophisticated and gutsy than big business titans. I call it like I see it. I also believe you can never insult anyone by informing them. People love to learn. I think by bringing all viewers the feel of the event, you’re inviting them along for the wild Matterhorn Swiss ride that is Davos.
7. Is covering Davos a lot like the pack journalism of a presidential campaign, or are you able to break away from the back?
Not at all. We can go wherever we want and that includes way off-site. I’ve found that the Congress Center where all the panels are being held isn’t necessarily the place to get the best stories. Last night I went to a private, off-the-record dinner given by the NASDAQ. Tons of CEOs and leaders were all talking about global issues. It helped me get even better insight into what industry and policy makers are talking about. Tonight, I landed an invitation to the Davos Shabbat dinner where Israeli President Shimon Peres will be.
Then the Google party and if I’m still standing, Wipro has a Bollywood event I will try to make. That’s part of the layering on process. And of course, you’re not doing your full Davos reporting if you don’t hit the ski slopes. One of the first things I did was rent skis and drag my crew up onto the mountain. We had our Swiss production assistant Carole go backwards on her snowboard while shooting me doing a standup. The fact is, CEOs love to ski, they just don’t want their shareholders to see them doing it.
Bloomberg Television anchor Margaret Brennan sent a letter to Silicon Alley Insider about her experience reporting from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for the first time.
Here is an excerpt:
“For story tellers like me, this is exciting. Where else but here would I get to spend an afternoon with George Soros chatting about this billionaire’s theory of reflexivity, how he thinks there is no alternative to the dollar, that hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds should also be regulated and the new for a new financial model which sitting on a snowy rooftop? Our 30 minute conversation flew by. As a member of the often maligned fourth estate, it is so refreshing to have a conversation instead of a buttoned up interview in a stifling studio.
“It isn’t all champagne and constructive conversation.
“Everyone comes here with an agenda and it may not match the World Economic Forum’s global agenda. Aggression is unleashed in particular when you consider my fellow colleagues of the press. The chasing and the conversations with those who can’t make eye contact because they’re looking for the bigger better deal are the uglier parts of the experience. However, that’s also how you can tell those who’ve made it and have a message from those who are desperate to find one here.”
Read more here.