Tag Archives: Barron’s

Wall Street Journal Goes On Sale In London For The First Time

Nuggets about business journalism from the News Corp. filing


There are some interesting business journalism facts in the News Corp. filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will split its newspaper and media operations into a separate company.

They include:

WSJ.com, which offers both free and premium content, averaged more than 34 million visitors per month on average for the 12 months ended September 30, 2012 according to Adobe Omniture.

Barrons.com had more than 165,000 paid subscribers on average for the 12 months ended September 30, 2012.

MarketWatch.com averaged nearly 14 million visitors per month for the 12 months ended September 30, 2012 according to Adobe Omniture.

Dow Jones Newswires publishes over 19,000 news items in 14 languages each day via terminals and trading platforms reaching hundreds of thousands of financial professionals. This content also reaches millions of individual investors via customer portals and intranets of brokerage and trading firms, as well as digital media publishers.

The full filing can be found here.

Dow Jones Thank you

Dow Jones thanks employees


Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires, thanked every single one of its employees in a full-page Journal ad on Tuesday.

The ad included all of their names.


Michael Santoli

Barron’s Santoli joins Yahoo Finance


Michael Santoli, an associate editor for Barron’s, has left the Dow Jones business and financial weekly for a job with Yahooo Finance as a senior columnist.

In this new role, Santoli will serve as a voice on financial markets and economic news, providing analysis and breaking commentary of market and economic trends. He will also make regular appearances on Yahoo Finance’s original online programs “Daily Ticker” and “Breakout,” be a frequent contributor to CNBC as part of its recently announced partnership with the site, and represent Yahoo Finance at various industry events.

“I am thrilled to add Michael to our talented roster of trusted experts,” said editor in chief Aaron Task in a statement.  “As a leader in online financial news, Yahoo Finance is constantly striving to bring the most reliable and well-rounded coverage to our users.  With over two decades of award-winning experience, Michael’s expansive range of knowledge and insights will be a huge asset to us, and more importantly, our audience.”

At Barron’s, he wrote the “Streetwise” column, offering a forward-looking take on the financial markets, illuminating market trends and themes, and identifying investment opportunities.

While at Barron’s Santoli was a regular on-air contributor to the CNBC cable network, including appearances every Friday and Monday morning to discuss investment ideas from each week’s Barron’s. Prior to assuming his current position in November 2006, he had been a senior editor for Barron’s since May 2002 writing “The Trader” column.

Previously, Santoli had been mutual funds editor for the magazine since March 2002 when he became associate editor and wrote the “Fund of Information” column, edited the quarterly mutual fund pullout sections, and wrote cover stories for the magazine. He joined Dow Jones & Co. as a reporter for the Dow Jones News Service and covered the securities industry.

Santoli moved to Barron’s as a staff writer and wrote the “Commodities Corner” column, then began writing the “Striking Price” column, covering the options markets. Before joining Dow Jones, he worked in New York as a reporter/editor for Investment Dealers’ Digest.

Santoli received two Dow Jones Newswires Awards for distinguished real-time journalism. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Wesleyan University.


Online WSJ subscribers: Dow Jones acted unreasonably


A group of online subscribers to The Wall Street Journal told the Second Circuit on Wednesday that Dow Jones & Co. did not act reasonably when it stopped providing access to some of its Web content, urging the appeals court to reverse a district court’s summary judgment ruling.

Sean McLernon of Law360.com writes, “A New York federal judge allowed Dow Jones to escape the putative class action suit in March, finding that Dow Jones had acted reasonably and within its rights under the subscriber agreement when it stopped providing access to content from financial publication Barron’s Online. In Thursday’s brief, four named subscriber class action plaintiffs claim that whether the company acted reasonably is a triable issue of fact.

“While Dow Jones contends that discontinuing or changing services are essential to an online publication service because the business demands “constant updates, improvements and innovations,” the subscribers argue that the changes could not be accurately described as an upgrade of its news and informational content.

“‘In fact, WSJ.com was diminished by the removal of Barron’s Online content,’ the brief said. ‘Instead, the purpose of the Barron’s Online spinoff was simply for Dow Jones to make more money from its annual WSJ.com subscribers by launching a separate subscription service. As Dow Jones’ research showed, current WSJ.com subscribers were the best potential market for a separate Barron’s Online subscription product.’

“The plaintiffs, who prepaid for a year’s subscription to the Journal online, which included access to Barron’s Online, said they were injured when Dow Jones removed free access to Barron’s Online in January 2006. At that time, Dow Jones requested an additional $20 per year for access to the newly revamped Barron’s, according to the complaint.”

Read more here. A subscription is required.

Alan Abelson

Barron’s Abelson is one for the record books


If there were a definitive business journalism Book of Records, Alan Abelson would no doubt dominate some major categories:

  • Longest current tenure as a columnist at a single business/financial news outlet;
  • Sued or the subject of threatened lawsuits by the most number of story subjects;
  • Subject of the largest number of letters to the editor – both complaints and compliments;
  • Most-efficient journalistic financial hot air ‘valve’ – letting the air out of over-inflated egos and stocks.

In other categories, Abelson would rank at or near the top:

  • Role model to other financial columnists and bloggers;
  • Reviled and feared by CEOs;
  • Accused of being in the pocket of short sellers;
  • Contrarian;
  • Razor-like wit.

Abelson, who turns 87 years old this week, is still writing his own legacy – both literally and figuratively.

Once a week, as he has consistently since he originated the “Up and Down Wall Street” investment commentary column for Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly in 1966, Abelson still labors to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted – all while delivering pithy and polarizing views on business, financial, economic and political news and events, as well as his forecasts for specific industries and stocks.

In early 1966, the Dow Jones Industrial Averages made a run at the 1,000 level – actually surpassing it once on an intra-day basis, but closed short of the mark and ended the year at 785.

In October 1966, when Abelson turned 41, Edward A. Finn Jr., Barron’s current editor and president, was an 11-year-old boy attending elementary school in Whitinsville, Mass.  Finn was only a year old when Abelson first joined the Barron’s staff in 1956.

Abelson became managing editor of Barron’s in 1965 and in December 1981, succeeded Robert M. Bleiberg to become editor of the Dow Jones & Co. tabloid.

One of Abelson’s early hires was a college dropout and former press secretary to, then, Sen. John Durkin (NH-D/1975-1980), named Floyd Norris.  Norris began as a staff writer, who quickly advanced to stock market editor and then author of the magazine’s “The Trader” column.  Norris joined The New York Times in October 1998 and has been its respected chief financial correspondent since September 1999.  Dozens of award-winning business journalists, in the mold of Norris, were also hired or tutored by Abelson.

Abelson’s tenure at the top of the Barron’s masthead lasted 11 years.  In December 1992, at age 67, he was asked by the muckety-mucks at corporate to step down.  The New York Times quoted Andy Zipser, a Barron’s staff writer, speculating that Dow Jones came to view Abelson’s administration as “a rogue operation,” adding that “now there is a new emphasis on team players.”

Initially, the betting was that Abelson would also quit his “Up and Down Wall Street” column and leave the company altogether. But he didn’t and has since penned another roughly 1,080 columns.

[Let the history books record that Ottaway Newspapers scion James H. Ottaway Jr.’s most defining contribution to business journalism in the 20th century was likely the role he played in sacking Abelson.  Ottaway, at the time, was a senior vice president at Dow Jones. He explained Abelson’s departure to the Times, saying “We agreed that since we are about to start a redesign project for Barron’s it was a good time for a new editor to take over.”  Huh?]

I looked up the value of Abelson’s home in Croton on Hudson, N.Y.  If the real estate listings are to be believed, he resides in a rather modest single family residence on a nice chunk of land worth roughly half a million dollars.

I was curious about Abelson’s lifestyle, as I’m guessing that he long ago stopped writing for Barron’s because he needs the paycheck.

His wife, Virginia, who like he attended the University of Iowa, died of cancer in 1999 at age 72.  His daughter, Reed, has been a reporter for The New York Times since 1995.  He also has a son, Justin, who has worked in journalism in Greenfield, Mass.

I suspect Abelson continues to write at his age primarily because he has yet to get the journalism-bug out of his system.  It’s why former Fortune editor Marshall Loeb, now, 83, is still reporting for MarketWatch and why Dan Dorfman, who died this past June at 82, kept churning out copy nearly until the end.

How many of today’s columnists, bloggers and reporters have the Abelson-Loeb-Dorfman genes, I can’t really say.

Perhaps contemporary financial scribes, such as Reuters’s Felix Salmon, Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith and Infectious Greed’s Paul Kedrosky – each of whom channels the best of Abelson in their writings – will still be tweeting, blogging and tweaking the arrogant well into their eighties too.

Regardless, the brand of financial commentary that Alan Abelson launched in 1966 and has refined over all these years, is certain to endure long after the writer, himself, has typed his final “-30-.”

Dow Jones union: Layoffs are happening, end free labor


Steven Yount, the president of the union that represents business journalists working at Dow Jones & Co. properties, sent out the following email to the news staff on Wednesday:

Since the first of the year, Dow Jones has laid off 62 of your co-workers (31 of them in the last week of June) and once again senior manaement is telling you “we simply have to do more with less.” That means they get more and you get less.

The company is counting, as always, on your willingness to work for free: stay late or work weekends and never charge the company.

Those days of free labor have to end.

Not everyone is eligible for overtime (most reporters aren’t eligible for overtime, but all are eligible for, at least, comp time) and everyone is eligible for holiday pay and a premium for working on a scheduled day off.

From now on, you have to file for every dime the contract says that the company owes you.

We have to clearly demonstrate that we’re tired of “Doing More With Less” and that there’s No More Free Labor from Dow Jones employees. I promise you that IAPE will aggressively pursue each and every claim.

If you have any problems or questions, let me know or reach out directly to union organizer Tim Martell.

How to write for specific financial media


Joshua Brown writes on his Reformed Broker blog about what it takes to write for specific financial media outlets.

Here are some of his examples:

“How to write a stock article for CNNMoney or MarketWatch: Line up quotes from a bull and a bear on a given stock – give a paragraph to each to state their case on the company, conclude by saying it’s too early to tell who’s right.

“How to write a column in Barron’s: Take a random statistic from Bespoke Investment Group.  Use it to tell a story.  Nap the rest of the week until deadline.  Wake up and repeat.

“How to write a book on investing: Grab your favorite rules and ideas from a few of the other 20,000 books on investing that came before yours.  No one will notice and the rules are evergreen anyway so they probably should be repeated.  Have your PR agent send me an email about your book twice a day until they get the auto-responder announcing my premature and tragic death.

“How to write for Motley Fool: For your subject, pick a stock with a high message board-to-headline ratio on Yahoo Finance (thus guaranteeing interest and clicks).  Promote the CAPS community within the first paragraph, the last paragraph should essentially be an ad for Hidden Gems or Rule Breakers of some such newsletter product.

“How to write for TheStreet.com: Be Doug Kass.

“How to write for the Forbes or HuffPo network:  Doesn’t matter, it’ll be buried amid seven million other pieces of content, no one will read it.”

Read more here.

Bloomberg Businessweek outperforms other biz glossies in third quarter



Bloomberg Businessweek reported a 49.5 percent increase in advertising revenue and a 39 percent rise in ad pages during the third quarter, continuing its rebound after a lackluster performance in 2008 and 2009.

The magazine, acquired by Bloomberg in late 2009, reported ad revenue of $49.7 million and ad pages of 340.10 in the third quarter, according to data released Monday by the Publishers Information Bureau and analyzed by Talking Biz News.

In comparison, Fortune magazine reported a 10 percent increase in ad revenue to $56.4 million and a 4.5 percent increase in ad pages to 420.56 during the three months ended Sept. 30. Forbes magazine posted a 0.7 percent decline in ad revenue to $42.1 million and a 4.1 percent drop in ad pages to 293.30 during the same time period.

The gains by Bloomberg Businessweek continue its strong performance from the first six months of the year, when it had a 27.7 percent rise in ad revenue and a 15.8 percent increase in ad pages.

The only other business magazine with similar strong growth in the third quarter was the Harvard Business Review, which posted a 32.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $3.2 million and a 25.8 percent jump in ad pages to 72.13.

Fast Company also reported an 18.3 percent gain in ad revenue to $8.6 million and a 13.5 percent rise in ad pages to 99.65.

Two Dow Jones & Co. publications reported mixed results. Barron’s posted a 20.1 percent gain in ad revenue to $13 million and a 15.6 percent gain in ad pages to 265.05 during the quarter. However, personal finance magazine SmartMoney posted an 11.7 percent decline in ad revenue to $7.1 million and a 15.9 percent drop in ad pages to 73.05.

Other personal finance publications also struggled. Kiplinger’s posted a 4.5 percent decline in ad revenue to $4.8 million but a 12 percent rise in ad pages to 72.09, while Money magazine reported a 0.7 percent decline in ad revenue to $30.0 million and a 5.1 percent drop in ad pages to 138.33 during the quarter.

Growth at tech-oriented magazine Wired slowed in the third quarter. After posting a 37.7 percent gain in ad revenue and a 26.6 percent gain in ad pages during the first three months, Wired’s third-quarter ad revenue growth was 6.9 percent while its ad pages fell a half of a percent.

See all of the magazine data here.

Barron’s newspaper overhauls staff with promotions and hires


Fleming Meeks, the editor of the Barron’s Daily Stock Alert newsletter, has been named executive editor of the weekly financial newspaper.

He will report to editor Edwin A. Finn, who announced a number of other promotions at the Dow Jones publication.

Moving up to deputy managing editor is Phil Roosevelt, who has served as an assistant managing editor since joining Barron’s eight years ago.

Moving up to write the CEO Spotlight is Lawrence C. Strauss, who for three years has penned Barron’s weekly investment interview, one of the most-read features in the magazine and on Barrons.com.

Succeeding Strauss on Barron’s weekly interview, is Leslie P. Norton, who has been with the financial newspaper for 17 years, the last 10 of them as its Asia editor.

The new Asia editor will be Kopin Tan, who for the past five years has done an outstanding job writing the influential Trader column. Before that, Kopin served as the Barron’s options columnist for about three years.

Taking over the Trader column is Vito J. Racanelli, who has been Europe editor since 2000. In the past year or so, Vito has written smart cover stories on buying European blue chips amid the Continent’s turmoil.

Succeeding Racanelli as Europe editor will be Jonathan Buck, a news editor in London for Dow Jones Newswires.

Joining Barron’s as mutual fund editor is Beverly Goodman, who spent the past two years as managing editor of Fidelity’s online home page, and before that worked at SmartMoney for nearly six years, rising to the position of senior editor.

Read more here.

Barron’s coverage of Gap has gaps


TheStreet.com media critic Marek Fuchs doesn’t think that a Barron’s story about retailer The Gap has enough facts to support its thesis.