Tag Archives: Barron’s
The Wall Street Journal readers have the highest median annual income of all print publications, according to Mediamark Research & Intelligence’s MRI Fall 2009 report.
Sean Callahan of BtoB Magazine reports that Journal readers make $135,740.
Callahan writes, “Twelve other print publications had readership with median household income above $100,000, which indicates a business-oriented audience.
“The other 12 are: Barron’s ($126,710); The Economist ($124,701); United Hemispheres ($120,809); Washington Post Sunday ($120,400); The New York Times Sunday ($118,471); The New York Times daily ($115,816); American Way ($108,522); CondÃ© Nast Traveler ($106,407); The Atlantic ($104,786); Southwest Spirit ($102,505); Architectural Digest ($101,159); and Yachting ($100,740).”
Barron’sÂ announced Thursday it will launch a new section targeting “pentamillionaires” — individuals with at least $5 millionÂ in assets.
Beginning Saturday, Sept. 26, the new 24-page pullout section, titled “PENTA,” will appear quarterly with financial advice on topics ranging from personal finance to lifestyle concerns. PENTA content will also be available online at Barrons.com once it’s published.
“The Madoff scandal has left many wealthy Americans feeling vulnerable,” said Ed Finn, editor and president of Barron’s, in a statement. “With the lack of investment advice for this segment of the population from other credible media outlets, we decided that PENTA was a good fit for our readers because it provides trusted financial advice from America’s premier financial magazine.”
The first issue of PENTA will feature Barron’s annual ranking of elite wealth management firms as well as a new list ranking the top private bankers in the U.S. In addition, PENTA will regularly provide lifestyle content, such as advice on how to buy art at auction, buying fine wines, green initiatives, philanthropy and investing advice.
Read more here.
Jon Friedman of Marketwatch writes Friday about former Barron’s reporter Erin Arvedlund, who has recently published a book on convicted investor Bernie Madoff.
Friedman writes, “In her book, Arvedlund is shying away from the sociological implications of the scandal and concentrating on explaining to readers how Madoff turned his once-legitimate business into a huge fraud.
“‘The two missing pieces were finding the really old people’ who could talk about the origins of the fraud ‘and how (the company) produced these phony statements,’ Arvedlund said.
“What resulted was a page-turning narrative. Like many authors, Arvedlund became happily obsessed with her work. This kind of drive can help authors persist when they feel discouraged by the weight of the work or head cold or family distraction. Of course, it also can result in a strange way of life for the author.
“‘I talk about these people like they’re my family,’ Arvedlund laughed. She set aside a specific part of her Philadelphia home where she would be free of Madoff, at least for a moment or two.”
Read more here.Â
Damien Hoffman of Wall Street Cheat Sheet interviewed Barron’s senior editor Michael Santoli about his writing career and how he develops his columns in the weekly business newspaper.
Here is an excerpt:
Damien: What is it like having gone from a beat reporter to basically batting cleanup behind Alan Abelson and having that great Feature space?
Michael: Itâ€™s great. We actually enjoy an amazingly committed readership at Barronâ€™s. Itâ€™s a good thing because I obviously want people who are loyal and look forward to getting Barronâ€™s first thing Saturday morning. On the other hand, itâ€™s a challenge because obviously they are demanding. The readers want to see something they havenâ€™t encountered during the week. Itâ€™s not that you have to say something differently, you have to say it more persuasively or have a point of view somewhat at variance with what most people have been reading and watching most of the week.
It was an adjustment to do commentary after being a beat writer where itâ€™s play-it-straight, get the news fast, and get it out there. Now I have all week to percolate whatever topics interest me, look at all the research, and talk to a lot of people. By the end of week I figure out if I have anything interesting to say. The challenge during the adjustment was to learn how to have an opinionated voice, and to go out on a limb and say, â€œThis is where I think we might be headed and here is a particular investment idea that has merit or not.â€ The adjustment is on-going. The challenge is to quiz myself every minute of the day: â€œWhat do I really think? Where is the crowd sentiment? Where can I make a distinction between what I think is the likely view and what the crowd currently thinks?â€
Read more here.
The business is called Dow Jones PR & Corporate Communications Solutions, and it provides analysis of media and social networks for organizations that want to know how a topic or an issue is being perceived.
This operation just signed a three-year contract with South African Tourism to help it present a better image during the 2010 World Cup, which will be played in South Africa, and afterward.
Here’s what makes me queasy about the whole situation: With the name Dow Jones on the operation, it gives the impression that it’s providing access to the top business journalists in the country. And the economic development surrounding the 2010 World Cup is obviously a story that Dow Jones journalists will cover.
Maybe I’m just overly paranoid, but I’ve never seen a news operation that had a side business in PR and marketing either. I don’t know of any U.S. magazines or newspapers that provide such work on the side for clients who could be covered by their journalists.
UPDATE: I spoke with Robert Thibault, director of global public relations for Dow Jones, this evening. Here is what he had to say about the PR and corporate communications operation at the company. After hearing him explain it, I do feel better about the relationship.
“The product that South African Tourism is using is Dow Jones Insight, which is an electronic clipping service,” said Thibault. “The service allows clients to monitor, measure and analyze their coverage in maintsream media, Web sites and social media. What we do, is we assist a client like the South African Tourism board in developing a targeted search stream, so it captures what they want it to capture. And then we put the search results in context.
“That means different things to different clients. A client that makes computers might want to see how much coverage theyre getting versus Competitor A and B. It uses visualization technology to help a client understand.
“What we don’t do is operate a PR or marketing consulting firm in any way shape or form. We don’t provide clients with any advice on strategies or how to react to the coverage. We have an unyielding firewall from the rest of the organization. When you’re a client of Dow Jones Insight, that’s it. We provide impartial information on how you’re mentioned in the media.”
Barron’s editor and publisher Edward A. Finn Jr. writes in the latest issue about a redesign of the business weekly’s Web site.
Finn writes, “You’ll find breaking investment news near the top of the homepage, and more important, a new feature that gives you Barron’s view on a top story each day.
“Written mainly by veteran Barron’s writer Tiernan Ray, ‘Barron’s Take,’ as we call it, will in effect put you inside our newsroom. In the past few weeks, Tiernan’s made important calls on Tiffany, Hewlett-Packard, Infosys and Bank of New York Mellon, to name a few. ‘Barron’s Take’ is a feature worth checking out, especially if you’ve ever seen an important investment story and wondered, ‘What are the folks at Barron’s thinking about this?’ The timing varies, but most days, you’ll find ‘Barron’s Take’ posted on the top of the home page by 1 p.m. It will be free for a limited time, then available only to subscribers of Barrons.com.
“The man behind ‘Barron’s Take’ and a lot of other improvements on Barrons.com is Greg Bartalos. Greg worked as a senior editor for Barrons.com from 2001 to 2005, before leaving for three years to work as news editor and assistant managing editor of Yahoo! Finance. We were delighted to have Greg rejoin us as editor of Barrons.com in January. He has been instrumental in putting Barrons.com closer to the news and in working with Barrons.com general manager Gail Griffin on the site redesign. In coming months, Greg will develop community aspects of Barrons.com. As a first step, subscribers will soon be able to post comments on Barron’s stories.”
Read more here.Â
Robert MacMillian of Reuters has posted a memo from Dow Jones & Co. CEO Les Hinton that explains how the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch and Dow Jones Newswires is cutting back on its benefits.
In the memo, Hinton states, “The Money Purchase Plan will be frozen as of July 3, 2009. The 401(k) Savings Plan will be enhanced. The net effect will be a lower rate of company contributions.
“The retiree healthcare subsidy will be curtailed for most employees effective Jan. 1, 2010. Current retirees or those employees who on Jan. 1, 2010, will be age 50 with at least 5 years of service or have 20 years of service regardless of age will continue to be eligible for a subsidy in a revised retiree healthcare plan.
“More details about the benefit program changes can be found here.
“The new retirement plans will apply to all non-IAPE* staff in the U.S. We intend to seek the same programs when we enter collective-bargaining negotiations with IAPE this year.”
Read more here.
The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants announced Wednesday the winners for its Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards that recognize reporters from the national and local press who contribute to a better understanding of business topics.
Twelve judges, representing the NYSSCPA and the New York Financial Writers Association, selected winners. Journalists will be presented with their awards at a luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City on May 5.
This year’s winners are:
Business/Financial: Fran Hawthorne, Bloomberg Press, “Pension Dumping: The Reasons, the Wreckage, the Stakes for Wall Street,” a hard look at the practice of terminating pension plans which has become a problem with broad implications for companies, employees and retirees.
General Audience: Byron Acomido and John Swartz, USA Today, “Zeroday Threat,” a remarkable body of investigative work that has set them apart as national experts on data theft and Internet-enabled financial scams.
Business/Financial – Magazine, under 1,500 words: Alexei Bayer, Research Magazine, “The Global Economy,” a series of articles analyzing economic trends that affect both the fate of nations and the contents of investors’ wallets.
Business/Financial, Newspaper, under 1,500 words: Tom Herman, The Wall Street Journal, a series of tax columns designed to improve public awareness and understanding of individual income-tax issues
and tax-efficient investing strategies.
Business/Financial, Magazine, over 1,500 words: William Selway and Martin Z. Braun, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, “Broken Promise,” a series of articles about how JPMorgan convinced school districts, counties and cities to use interest-rate swaps, complex derivatives that were supposed to provide low-cost financing to the public. Instead, taxpayers lost millions of dollars as JPMorgan reaped profits.
Business/Financial – Newspaper, over 1,500 words: Jonathan R. Laing, Barron’s, “The Next Government Bailout?,” an analysis of the decline and fall of the government-sponsored mortgage entities Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac.
General Audience, Newspaper, over 1,500 words: Kevin McCoy and Erik Brady, USA Today, “Rx for Errors,” a series of articles showing that major pharmacy chains’ corporate policies play a role in prescription errors that kill some patients, injure others and threaten the health of many more.
Business/Financial: Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg News, “When Numbers Mislead,” a series of articles with valuable insight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, written six weeks before the government placed the world’s two largest mortgage buyers in a conservatorship, ousted their chief executive officers and eliminated
General Audience: Keith Naughton, Newsweek, a series of articles about the auto industry offering deep reporting and intelligent analysis of the industry.
Accounting: Michael Rapoport and Dawn Wotapka, Dow Jones Newswires, “Lurking on the Balance Sheet,” a series of articles warning readers of the dangers lurking on the balance sheets of homebuilders, insurers, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and others.
Business/Financial: David Evans, Bloomberg News, “Way Ahead of the Curve,” a series of articles that foresaw in detail how and why the varied elements of the global financial meltdown would occur, months before they happened. The U.S. House and Senate used these articles to prepare for hearings to question top
finance executives about the economic collapse.
General Audience: Eric Carvin and staff, The Associated Press, “Meltdown 101,” a daily series of articles explaining some aspect of the economic crisis in terms the average reader could understand.
News Segment: Chris Arnold, National Public Radio, “Fraud and Greed in the Mortgage Crisis,” segments on interviews with current and former employees who described the missteps, temptation and outright fraud that led the mortgage industry into the biggest financial melt-down since the great depression.
Feature: Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson, This American Life and NPR News, “The Giant Pool of Money,” an hour-long radio documentary that explains how the housing boom inflated and then burst to send the world into economic crisis.
Gary Matsumoto, Bloomberg Television, “401(k) Hidden Fees,” a 16-month investigation uncovering how secretive billing practices enable 401(k) plan administrators to skim tens of billions of dollars from workers’ plans.
Jack Shafer of Slate writes about the pay model for online news and information and notes that some of the most successful ventures in this area have been in business and consumer journalism.
Shafer writes, “Wildly unique and immensely useful describes the paid site ConsumerReports.org. If you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, want to outfit a home gym, or want tips on buying insurance, there’s no more comprehensive place for your queries than ConsumerReports.org. No free site on the Web compares. The site currently has 3.3 million paid subscribers: About 3 million of them pay $26 annually, and the rest pay by the month ($5.95). That’s in addition to the 4 million print copies the magazine moves each month to subscribers.”
Later, he adds, “You don’t necessarily have to control the device to succeed at selling online content. Consider the Financial Times‘ Web site, FT.com, which had 99,000 paying customers as of last summer; the Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ.com, which counts 1,079,000 subscribers (some of whom also get the print edition); and the Journal‘s sister publication, Barron’s, which has 150,000 Web subscribers. The mother company also sells the super-premium Barron’s Daily Stock Alert â€” $795 for a year, right now â€” but doesn’t release subscription numbers for it. A combined 2.3 million subscribe to its Dow Jones Factiva and Dow Jones Newswires.”
Read more here.
Doug Kass, a money manager who writes for TheStreet.com, defends CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer and his investment picks on Monday while noting that he does so without any prodding from TheStreet.com, where Cramer is a major investor and board member.
Cramer’s picks were the subject of a Barron’s article this weekend.
Kass writes, “Finally, many of Jim’s investment recommendations are indeed nuanced and qualified. Treating every investment recommendation as the same and compiling an investment performance is, to some degree, comparing apples to oranges.
“In my final analysis, individual investors are better served listening to Jim Cramer, both with regard to his recommendations and his methodology, than any other business commentator extant. His body of investment knowledge is remarkably broad and lacks the superficiality of most of his brethren.
“Jim is an investment populist who, unlike many in my hedge fund cabal, has forsaken that financial rainbow for a greater cause — namely, helping out the individual investor.
“Jim is an easy target, but from my perch, he should not be vilified; he should be admired.”
Read more here.