Tag Archives: AP

Allison Fitzgerald

Center for Public Integrity hires two biz journalists


The Center for Public Integrity is investing in the coverage of finance with two new hires.

Alison Fitzgerald, a 2009 Polk Award winner, author and longtime Bloomberg economics and enterprise reporter, will oversee the Center’s financial coverage as well as much of its state money-in-politics work. She is joined by Dan Wagner, who comes to the Center from the Associated Press’ Washington bureau, where he specialized in financial regulation.

Both Fitzgerald and Wagner will start, appropriately enough, on tax day, April 15.

Fitzgerald’s career highlights include writing the 2011 book “In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race that Took it Down.” Her reporting has appeared in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune, among other publications. Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2000, Alison worked as a reporter, and then international editor, for the Associated Press. She also has worked as a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Palm Beach Post in Florida.

Fitzgerald is a graduate of Georgetown University and earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University. Given her fluency in French and Italian, it’s perhaps appropriate that the long list of reporting awards she’s won includes a 2008 Overseas Press Club honor. Her coverage of secretive political donors won her a 2011 National Press Foundation Everett Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.

Wagner has worked at the Associated Press since 2008, where is most recent work focused on financial regulation reporting, particularly the banking industry’s relationship with official Washington. Among his many scoops and deep dives are stories on former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s close Wall Street contacts, government subsidies to abusive mortgage companies, lavish spending by bailed-out bankers.

Before joining the Associated Press, Wagner worked for two years at Newsday, where he won a National Headliner Award for uncovering risky lending by American Home Mortgage — a practice that helped lead to the company’s demise. Wagner, a graduate of Harvard University, has also worked stints at the Boston Globe and National Public Radio.

Read more here.


AP names new director of financial products


Brian Scanlon, director of the AP Election Services portfolio, has been promoted to an expanded role, adding oversight of AP’s business and financial products.

His appointment was announced Thursday.

“We find growing market interest in news services combining government and elections coverage with business and economic news,”  said Sue Cross, senior vice president for business development and partner relations in the Americas, in a statement.  “Brian has excelled in combining news and data to develop these types of services and brings outstanding ability to drive added growth at the intersection of government and financial information.”

Scanlon joined the AP in 2006 after serving as director of sales at Ipsos Public Affairs research company and Learning Insight Inc..  He also worked in research and polling services at Synectics for Management Decisions and Peter D. Hart Research.

He is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, holds a master’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Chicago and was a 2009 Sulzberger Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

AP’s financial news services deliver consumer-oriented coverage to millions of consumers via newspapers, broadcast outlets and digital portals and services, as well as fast, insightful reporting for investors and executives.  Products include AP Financial News, providing fast corporate and economic news; AP Money & Markets, a multimedia service on market news and analysis; Financial Impact, a news service covering the non-business news that has financial impact; and the AP Small Business Report.


AP biz reporter duped by fake LinkedIn account


Beware of fake LinkedIn accounts for company executives. The Associated Press has run the following clarification:

“NEW YORK (AP) — In a Nov. 17 story about changes CEO Ron Johnson has instituted at J.C. Penney Co., The Associated Press attributed to Michael Francis, a former Penney president, comments about Johnson’s leadership of the company.

“The AP quoted Francis as saying that Johnson sticks to his beliefs and that Francis harbors no hard feelings toward Johnson, who fired him. “Life is too short,” Francis was quoted as saying.

“AP obtained the quotes through an email conversation it initiated from a page for Francis on the social network LinkedIn. After the story was published, Francis called the AP to say that the LinkedIn account belonged to an impostor, and that he himself had made no comments to AP about Johnson. Francis said he had contacted LinkedIn and that the company eliminated the account.

“LinkedIn confirmed to the AP that it had eliminated the account but declined to discuss why it did so or whether it had evidence the account was fraudulent.”

Read more here.


AP launching series on the Great Recession


The Associated Press will launch a series exploring changes wrought by the Great Recession with reports documenting the downturn’s profound impact on jobs that support a broad middle class in the United States, Europe and other developed countries.

The series, “The Great Reset,” will begin with stories appearing from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25. Five additional installments will run about six weeks apart into the fall.

The main reporters on the series are Paul Wiseman out of Washington and Bernard Condon out of New York.

“They came back with a startling story,” said Hal Ritter, the AP business editor, in a phone interview with Talking Biz News. “Most of the jobs lost were middle class jobs. They found that since the recovery began three and a half years ago, no middle class jobs have come back. And this is true in developed countries around the world.”

Technology — specifically powerful software that runs computers and an array of machines and devices — is eliminating the need for many jobs throughout companies and across industries, according to the AP report.

“Bernard and Paul have been working at it full time for three month,” said Ritter. “They started out looking broadly, and then they got narrower and narrower. They have reported it globally. We have pulled in staffers from Europe and Asia. It’s ambitious, but certainly there is no better opportunity in our careers. What bigger event has there been than the financial crisis and The Great Recession?”

“The Great Reset” will include photos, AP interactives and video elements. The series will be available on AP Mobile in the “Big Stories” section. More stories will run later in the year, Ritter said.

In addition, AP’s initial reports on the hollowing out of middle-class jobs will fuel discussion during the annual AP Davos Debate, on Jan. 25 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Moderator of the session, titled “Creating Economic Dynamism,” will be AP Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Mike Oreskes.

Erin McClam

AP financial markets editor leaving wire service


Associated Press business editor Hal Ritter sent out the following staff announcement:




It’s with much sadness that I report that Erin McClam is leaving us for a job as a writer at NBCNews.com.

Erin joined AP fresh out of the University of Georgia in December 1999 as a reporter in the Atlanta bureau. He moved to New York in August 2002 as a bureau reporter and became a federal courts reporter in February 2003. He was promoted to national writer in September 2005. When the Top Stories Desk was established in January 2008, Erin was one of its original editors. He took up residence in Business News two years later, while still a TSD editor. He joined our department in January as markets editor.

That’s the official bio, and, of course, it says little about what Erin has meant to the AP. Erin is an editor par excellence. Many days, I’ve marveled how he has teamed with a reporter to elevate good work to great. Most of you have had the great fortune to work with him on these stories. Afterward, I invariably hear praise for the experience.

Erin is also a wonderful colleague; all of us have enjoyed our associations with him. So we’ll miss his editing skills – and his presence.

Erin’s last day will be Friday, Dec. 21. Please join me in wishing him the best in all that lies ahead in his career.

Mark Hamrick

Hamrick joins Bankrate.com as DC bureau chief


Mark Hamrick, immediate past president of the National Press Club, will join Bankrate.com in January in the newly created position of Washington bureau chief.

Hamrick will cover the White House, Congress and financial regulatory agencies for the award-winning network of personal finance websites operated by Bankrate.com.

“Now more than ever, Washington policy changes are affecting Americans’ pocketbooks,” said Julie Bandy, editor in chief of Bankrate.com, in a statement. “Bankrate is going to leverage Mark Hamrick’s extensive beat experience to provide our readers with timely and interesting content focusing on the issues and players affecting American consumers’ finances.”

Hamrick spent the past 26 years in various roles at the Associated Press, most recently as a business reporter and editor for the AP’s broadcast division. He has been based in Washington since 1987.

Bankrate is a publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes.


AP names new markets reporter


Associated Press business editor Hal Ritter sent out the following staff announcement on Friday:

Steve Rothwell, a former Bloomberg News reporter, joins us Monday as a markets reporter. Steve worked for Bloomberg in London for 12 years and covered most of the financial markets – from stocks and bonds to credit and currencies. He also covered European airlines and luxury carmakers. For us, he’ll have a lead role in writing our daily Wall Street story and also will do enterprise stories.

Steve grew up in the U.K. and is a graduate of the University of Warwick. He majored in German and business.

He started his career on the business side. His first job was account manager for the manufacturing company Zeppelin in Germany, and he joined Bloomberg in 2000 as an analyst covering the Eurobond market. He became a journalist at the start of 2004.

Steve has covered Europe’s debt crisis and is fluent in German, a couple pluses for us, even though he’ll be based in New York.

If you’re in New York, join me in welcoming Steve next week.



AP seeks markets reporter


The Associated Press seeks a reporter for the Business News department’s financial markets team at its New York headquarters.

This reporter will have the task of explaining the financial markets to investors and consumers in daily coverage and through high-level enterprise stories.

The successful candidate must be a critical thinker and be well sourced among investors, traders and other Wall Street experts. The candidate must identify market trends and write authoritative stories with flair and clarity. The candidate must be an idea machine; somebody who sees stories where others see fog. The candidate must be a team player and willing to write for the AP’s Money & Markets product and to work with staffers through AP Business News.

The right candidate will have a deep knowledge of markets and finance and a demonstrated talent for writing clear and compelling stories with rigorous, thought-provoking analysis. The candidate will have experience delivering stories in a fast-pace world with a proven ability to work under deadline pressure. We’re looking for someone who isn’t satisfied to simply inform.

The candidate’s writing must sparkle and appeal to all readers, whether their sensibilities hew closer to Wall Street or Main Street. At least three years of experience in markets writing is required.

For more information, contact Deputy Business Editor Kevin Shinkle at kshinkle@ap.org.

Pallavi Gogoi

AP banking reporter Gogoi hired by CNN Money


Pallavi Gogoi, the banking reporter for the Associated Press, has been hired by CNN Money to be a breaking news editor.

CNN Money managing editor Lex Harris sent out the following announcement:

I’m pleased to announce we have a new breaking news editor: Pallavi Gogoi will be joining the team on September 19.

Pallavi knows news and she knows business and finance. She got her start at Dow Jones in the 1990s before heading to Business Week and USA Today and most recently, the Associated Press. She’s covered markets, the big banks and the biggest companies. And oh yeah, she speaks five languages (Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Urdu and English).

Pallavi will be the leader of our new Sunday coverage team with Emily, and will work Sunday through Thursday.

Please extend a warm welcome.

Gogoi was also a correspondent in BusinessWeek’s Chicago bureau. Prior to BusinessWeek, she covered finance for Dow Jones News, often writing for The Wall Street Journal.


A heartfelt goodbye from an AP loyalist


As we reported earlier today, Associated Press reporter Harry Weber is leaving the wire service for a job on the Houston Chronicle business news desk.

His goodbye email to sources and colleagues should be required reading for anyone thinking about how to depart a news organization:

I don’t know which is harder — losing 90 pounds in eight months or making an impact and being successful as a journalist for 16 years, the last 12 at the world’s largest news organization. Thanks to the encouragement, tips, guidance, patience and friendship from all of you in one way or another, I have been fortunate to do both.

As some of you already know, I will be leaving The Associated Press on Oct. 3. I’ve accepted a job with the Houston Chronicle as an energy reporter. My first day there will be Oct. 8. In the meantime, I plan to work harder than ever for AP, a news organization I will always love.

It was an extremely difficult decision from an emotional standpoint. I am sad to be leaving AP after so many great years and stories and awards.

You all have meant so much to me personally and professionally, and I truly believe that because of your support I am a better person and a better journalist today than when I started on this incredible journey in 1996, making $8 an hour at a small daily newspaper in the Boston area. I had just finished journalism school at Columbia and I thought I had the world at my feet. But it was that paper that taught me the hard-knock lessons of journalism — the greatest lesson is you have to work hard every day if you want to get ahead. It was a prominent editor at a major newspaper that told me during a career day at Columbia that I should start at a small paper. I didn’t want to believe him then, but he sure was right. That experience gave me the tools to move to a slightly larger paper, which gave me the tools to  catch on with the AP, which has led me to where I am today.

I’ve been fortunate to cover just about every beat — from legal affairs to politics to business to the environment, and some entertainment and sports. I’ve covered mergers, bankruptcies, labor disputes and too many tragedies to count. There were the Dartmouth murders, the corporate scandal at Tyco, the Shaheen-Sununu U.S. Senate race. 9/11 and the anthrax attacks. There were prosecutors and governors, members of Congress and attorney generals. Celebrities and sports figures. Presidents and vice presidents, and even a former vice president who I gave highway directions to once. Plane crashes and the US Airways splashdown in the Hudson. The Atlanta courthouse shootings. The capture and prosecution of Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph. JonBenet Ramsey. The death of Godfather of Soul James Brown. Hurricane Katrina. And, of course, the Gulf oil spill. I’ve flown in helicopters, spent significant time at sea and even, in a solemn task, sat behind a glass partition inside a prison as seven men in Georgia and Alabama took their last breath as they were executed.

I’m amazed at just how far my words have traveled thanks to the AP. I’ve traveled all over the U.S. Newspapers and TV and radio stations on six continents have published my work. I’ve been asked to be a mentor to two other staffers.

I feel like I still have plenty left in me — and thanks to the weight-loss I am a lot lighter on my feet. I still have a few goals I want to fulfill. Another hope I have is that we all keep in touch.

There are so many people I want to thank, which is why this email string is so long. I’d like to mention a few.

I want to thank Larry Laughlin and Joe Magruder for hiring me into the AP in July 2000. Thanks to Kevin Noblet, Gary Clark and Michael Giarrusso for bringing me to Atlanta as a business writer in 2002. Thanks to Barry Bedlan and Maryann Mrowca for always believing in me and giving me so many opportunities. And thanks especially to Brian Carovillano, Brad Foss, Brian Schwaner, Lisa Pane and Ron Vample. Because of Brian Carovillano and Brad, I was asked to go to New Orleans in April 2010 to cover the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and resulting oil spill. I thought I would only be going for maybe a week. Because of Brian Schwaner, Lisa and others I ended up staying for a year. And because of Ron, the transition that has marked the last nine months for me has been easier than it would have been without his support.

I also want to thank Kristin Gazlay, Kathleen Carroll, Mike Oreskes and Mike Silverman. At a news organization so large, it would be easy to get lost in the shuffle. To be on their radar has been very rewarding and I am very thankful for their kind words over the years. Two of the most memorable emails were from Kristin after a break early in my AP career in the Dartmouth case and another one about my coverage of the airline industry. My father is especially proud of those, and still mentions them today. A special thanks to Pete Brown for improving my writing. I don’t think I ever truly gave him the credit he deserves, but I want to make sure I do now.

I will always love the AP.

One of the things I love about it is that it is truly global and essential. It’s certainly been essential to me. It introduced me to my wife. It gave me the opportunity to buy a home. It gave me financial assistance when my home was heavily damaged by an historic flood. Thanks to Hal Ritter, it even sent my wife flowers on Mother’s Day in 2010 when I couldn’t because I was on a big boat in the middle of the Gulf. I’ll never forget dialing in to a Business News staff conference call from a satellite phone on that boat and hearing the thunder of my colleagues’ clapping when they learned I was on the phone. I will always remember that boat and what it has meant to me. I also will always remember the 11 men who died in the waters nearby. And thanks to Gerald Herbert for being my comrade at sea. He is a tremendously talented photographer and an equally good friend.

These are just a few of the many memories I will carry with me in the future as I look to create more memories.

A lot of adjectives have been used to describe me over the years. The most common are “persistent,” “aggressive,” and “passionate.” To me, that’s a badge of honor, and I want to thank everyone who has ever said those words to me. The last time I got a speeding ticket was on 9/11 — rushing to the house in Portsmouth, N.H., where the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 lived. Knocking on that door was very difficult, but his family let me in. And I will always be grateful for that.

There are other adjectives, of course. I know that in my zeal to get the story, I sometimes have turned off some people I have worked with. I’m not perfect — far from it. And I’ve tried hard to learn from those experiences. I’ve always been confident in my news judgment. But my personal judgment has sometimes been lacking. Those lessons have been valuable as well.

One thing that has always been consistent is my love for our noble profession — and, of course, my love for AP.