Monthly Archives: October 2010
Edgecliffe-Johnson writes, “A daily economics newsletter and three weekly titles covering hedge funds, mergers and structured notes have been available for free to customers of the Bloomberg Professional terminal service since June, and have amassed 35,000 subscribers.
“All four will be offered to non-subscribers from Monday, with additional newsletters on other topics planned for the coming months.
“Ted Merz, executive editor of the newsletter group, said the next title would cover leveraged finance.
“The Bloomberg Brief newsletters will be sent digitally, as PDF files to be read on a computer screen or tablet computer, or text files accessible from a BlackBerry or other smartphone.
“Brian Rooney, who runs product development for news, research and other Bloomberg Professional applications, said the four titles available so far were produced by a dedicated staff of about two dozen people.”
Read more here.
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is adding international members to its membership, adding 85 members from Canada in recent months.
Another 28 joined from Rogers Media, which owns more than 70 magazines and professional publications and 53 radio stations across the country, said SABEW executive director Warren Watson.
SABEW, which is based at Arizona State University, also expects business journalists from the National Post and the Toronto Star to join. The organization held an event in Toronto earlier this month where Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer spoke.
As part of its international expansion, SABEW is planning an event with TV Azteca at its spring convention in Dallas, Watson said.
Deborah Gage, a business journalist who lost her job with the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009 due to layoffs, has been hired by Dow Jones.
Gage will be covering venture capital, startups and tech for VentureWire and developing stories for the Wall Street Journal. She had been freelancing for the past 16 months and has been a contributing editor for CBS Interactive’s Smart Planet and a contributor for Reuters.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Gage in an e-mail. “I feel ready to go back into a job, and I do think the journalism job market is opening up a bit, although it’s still very competitive.”
Gage covered computer security, privacy, venture captalists and trends around Silicon Valley for the Chronicle. She has covered technology and business out of Silicon Valley since 1994, most recently for Baseline magazine.
James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times reports Saturday that the iBusinessReporting.com site founded by former Times business reporter Bill Lobdell and fraud investigator Barry Minkow has closed down.
Lobdell writes, “We live in a time of experimentation and reinvention in journalism, and there’s reason to admire anyone looking for new ways to pay for investigative journalism. Yet some of those innovators, including Minkow and Lobdell, have been too ready to throw out the best habits, such as business conflict restrictions, of the ‘old’ journalism. The iBizReporting boys disagreed with that notion, saying they were truer to the audience because they were more transparent about their motivations. They contrasted that to reporters who they said kept too many secrets, particularly about their political beliefs.
“Tackling that subject would take more space than we have here, but suffice it to say that business entanglements can be the most corrupting for a reason. An ideological bias might be suppressed (I’ve seen many reporters trash candidates of their own political party), but a profit motive is forever. That’s why Times Business reporters are not allowed to invest in stocks of companies they cover.
“Minkow and Lobdell told me this week that the disappearance of iBusinessReporting is not the end. They said that they will continue to investigate companies they suspect through Minkow’s Fraud Discovery Institute ‘as a public service’ but no longer will bet against the stocks, which Lobdell admitted had turned out to be an ‘incredibly tricky’ way to make money.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
New York Times business editor Larry Ingrassia and Dealbook blog editor Andrew Ross Sorkin sent out the following announcement to the staff on Friday afternoon:
We are please to announce that two more reporters – Azam Ahmed from the Chicago Tribune and Ben Protess from the Huffington Post Investigative Fund – will join the DealBook team and Business Day.
Azam and Ben will add to our growing roster at DealBook, and to the talented team that we already have covering finance, giving The Times greater breadth and depth of coverage for our readers on Wall Street and Main Street.
Azam has worked at the Tribune since 2006, where he most recently has covered education. His reporting on the local schools gained national attention (how the administration of Arne Duncan oversaw a pipeline for the well-connected to seek favored school placement) and helped prompt reversals in policy (over the reorientation of magnet schools away from integration). But his reporting has ranged across a variety of topics. Early in the financial crisis, he used a tour on the courthouse beat to report on the impact foreclosures were already having on the courts and the city. And he turned street reporting in some of Chicago’s tougher neighborhoods into compelling pieces on young people facing urban dangers and temptations.
Not that Azam is a novice in finance: he spent a year reporting on currencies for Dow Jones Newswires. And he has shown himself to be a quick learner and dogged reporter, able to dig through documents and cultivate sources.
Like many good reporters, Azam has many interests: He is finishing a documentary about Chicago youth who use skateboarding as a way to escape gang violence. During college at the University of Virginia (where he earned a degree in economics and English), he worked as a chef and spent a few summers working in abandoned textile mills as a rigger taking down old German looms to ship off to China. He was an Eagle Scout and a boxer, finishing second in the Virginia Golden Glove Championships (165 pound division) in 2002. He will start on Nov. 3.
Ben Protess has worked for the past year at the nonprofit Huffington Post Investigative Fund, where he has been a business reporter based in Washington. He previously worked as a reporter at ProPublica on a year-long fellowship, as a reporter at a neighborhood newspaper in Chicago and as a news desk assistant at the CBS News affiliate in Chicago.
A colleague summed up what we like best about Ben, noting that he is an “eager young reporter who is comfortable in the digital age and who still holds on to old-fashioned journalism values.”
For the Huff Post Investigative Fund, Ben has covered the financial crisis and subsequent regulatory reform proposals in Congress. He has also tackled the causes and consequences of the crisis, paying particular attention to A.I.G. and the credit rating agencies; he won a Sigma Delta Chi award for a five-part series on the agencies’ close ties to key Democratic lawmakers and investment banks. He also has examined regulatory lapses at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s political ties and secret deals between colleges and credit card companies.
Ben was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs in a family of journalists and is a loyal (yet obviously frustrated) Cubs fan. He graduated with honors from Northwestern — in social policy, not journalism — before going on to Columbia for a master’s in journalism. He got married just this month and moved to New York, where his wife is a lawyer. He will join us on Nov. 17.
Please join us in welcoming Azam and Ben to The Times, Business Day and DealBook.
Joe Pompeo of The Business Insider reports Friday that Forbes magazine is looking to its readers to shape some of the content for its January issue.
Pompeo writes, “The latest of these just got underway: In a move that opinions editor Michael Noer describes as ‘the first ever attempt of its kind,’ Forbes is crowd-sourcing a portion of its January issue.
“‘We are lifting the veil on how we create cover packages,’ Noer wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. ‘What’s important is that the content of this issue … will not be solely determined by a handful of editors in our Manhattan offices. If all goes well, you — the Forbes community — will largely determine what goes in the issue and what kind of placement it gets.’
“The short story is that Forbes wants readers to recommend people for a feature package tentatively titled ‘Names You Need to Know in 2011.’ The longer version is that Forbes, as D’Vorkin explained in the lead-up to the magazine’s September relaunch, is reinventing itself as a sort of interactive forum that has ‘broken down the barriers’ between print and web, between writer, reader and marketer, thereby ‘creating a transparent, participatory platform with Forbes’ authoritative journalism firmly planted at the center.’ (Again, D’Vorkin’s words.)”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
How she got those names is classic business reporting. According to a lawyer representing the investors, she looked over the shoulder of an employee who had a list of those attending the meeting and read the list.
Kelly is now banned from attending any events that the lawyer’s firm hosts. I bet she’s quivering.
Here is the letter, which was obtained by FT Alphaville, the lawyer wrote to his clients:
To Those Who Attended our Conference on Robosigners:
I have just learned that CNBC purports to have reviewed a list of those who attended today’s conference. This morning CNBC asked me for a list, and I refused. I told CNBC (as well as other journalists who asked) that we respected the privacy of those who did not want their attendance to be publicized. Apparently, CNBC’s reporter looked over the shoulder of our employee who was receiving our guests and who had a list of those who had registered. I have told CNBC that that reporter is not welcome to return to any conference that we sponsor.
Keeping confidences is our most important obligation. My colleagues and I apologize profusely to those whose attendance at our conference was publicized in this underhanded way.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson sent out the following announcement on Friday morning:
I am pleased to announce that Chip Cummins will become Bureau Chief for Canada, overseeing Dow Jones Newswires and Wall Street Journal reporters based in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. Chip takes on this important leadership role as Canada, including Saskatchewan, becomes more central to the global economy, not only because of a resource-rich topography but because it has an unusually resilient banking sector. There’s a rich seam of political news to be mined as well as the task of tracking the travails of Bonhomme Carnaval.
In his new role, to which he will ascend early next year, Chip will lead a staff of 17 journalists. He will report to Steve Wisnefski, Newswires’ senior editor for the Americas, and to Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and empress of the known world.
Chip is well qualified for the challenge of tackling the sometimes fractious relations among the Canadian provinces, having been The Wall Street Journal’s Dubai-based Mideast Bureau Chief, overseeing coverage of the region, including unrest in Iran and the war in Iraq. For much of that time, Chip’s area of responsibility also included Africa. Before moving to Dubai, he was a reporter for the Journal in London and Dallas, covering the global oil industry and the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq, among other stories. He previously worked in London as a forex reporter for Dow Jones Newswires. He joined our company as an overnight copy editor for The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong in 1996.
Before joining Dow Jones, Chip served three years as an officer in the U.S. Navy and was posted aboard a warship based in Japan. Having been born and raised in Louisville, Ky, he graduated from Harvard College. Please join me in congratulating Chip and wishing him the best in his important new assignment.
B. Candace Beeke has been named the new editor of the Houston Business Journal, replacing longtime editor Bill Schadewald, who is retiring after 37 years at the paper.
A story on the newspaper’s site states, “John Beddow, HBJ publisher, said that Schadewald had built up a strong franchise and leaves a legacy of high-quality business journalism, and that he is confident Beeke can continue that tradition.
“‘We are very excited to have Candace join the team. We’re all looking forward to her leadership,’ Beddow said.
“Beeke has been editor of the Business Review West Michigan since May 2008, and began her career in journalism at the newspaper as a reporter in 2001.
“She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in journalism.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Erik Sherman of BNet.com writes Thursday about Microsoft’s decision to no longer issue earnings releases through newswires, and what that might mean to business reporters covering the company.
Sherman writes, “One of the methods that has been common is to file press releases on newswires so that the press and interested individuals could in theory get the information as quickly as any insider. The releases were often in addition to SEC 8K filings, although, technically, a company could do one or the other.
“The irony is that the change happened at the time that Internet use was exploding. However, the SEC did not want to allow companies to simply post information on their web sites because Internet access was still far from universal.
“Even as use increased, there was no clear rule to say that placing information on a company’s web site would have enough impact as to eliminate the need for other types of distribution. Even as recently as two years ago, corporate lawyers and former SEC officials told me that no companies had yet met the SEC’s criteria for having enough impact.”
Read more here.