Tag Archives: Business weeklies

Atlanta biz weekly makes staff changes

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

David Allison, the editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, sent out the following announcement to the staff about changes:

I’m sorry to announce that after 12 great years at the ABC, Julie Bryant is leaving us to join the Metro Atlanta Chamber in its communications department. Julie has made tremendous contributions as a reporter and editor, and now she’ll be working to help the city’s business community continue to grow.

Julie’s move will trigger a number of others.

Moving into the managing editor position is Jessica Saunders, who’s done great work as industry focus editor.

Moving into the industry focus editor position is Lisa Schoolcraft, who will now oversee the Strategies section and some focus sections with Jessica.

Doug Sams is being promoted to real estate editor. While he will continue reporting on commercial real estate, he will now take over oversight of our monthly CRE sections, helping to bolster the Focus Section team of Jessica and Lisa.

Lastly, we’ve begun an immediate search for a new reporter to cover hospitality and retail and hope to hire someone soon.

Join me in thanking Julie for her long service to the ABC and congratulate Jessica, Lisa and Doug on their new roles.

Crain’s Chicago editor to write column beginning in 2012

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Joseph B. Cahill, editor of Crain’s Chicago Business since 2005, will begin writing a weekly business column for the paper beginning in January and step down from his editing duties.

A story on the Crain’s Chicago website states, “In his new position as columnist, Mr. Cahill, 52, will focus on providing weekly analysis of Chicago companies, leaders and industry shifts affecting the city’s business community.”‘Joe’s sharp analytical eye, combined with his deep understanding of the broad Chicago business landscape, makes him the perfect fit for this new challenge. He will be a strong new voice in the city as well as for Crain’s,’ said Jim Kirk, Crain’s chief of editorial operations, who will assume Mr. Cahill’s editing duties on an interim basis while a search for a new editor is conducted.

“In more than six years as editor, Mr. Cahill has overseen numerous changes at the publication, including the expansion of Crain’s news coverage on the Web. Under his watch, the publication won more than 100 journalism awards and broadened the paper’s investigative footprint.

“‘We accomplished a lot in the last six-and-a-half years, and I’ll always treasure my experience leading the best team of journalists in Chicago,’ Mr.Cahill said. ‘But after so many years in management, I’m ready to get back on the front lines of reporting. This new column is a unique opportunity to focus all my energy and attention on my favorite subject — Chicago business.’”

Read more here.

Bizjournals.com redesign aimed at showcasing the best of local papers

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The overhaul of bizjournals.com, a home page of content produced by American City Business Journals, is designed to drive more traffic to the pages of the company’s 40 business newspapers, said an ACBJ executive on Friday.

The old design did not “do a good job of showcasing the best content we have,” said Jason Silverstein, the senior vice president of product development at Charlotte-based ACBJ. “We wanted an opportunity to revisit and have an editorial focus highlighting some of our best stuff.”

The redesign is the site’s first since 2009 and the first done totally in-house, said Silverstein, who previously was vice president of interactive media at the Charlotte Observer and also spent seven years at Yahoo.

However, it has not been decided that the new design, which uses larger photos and bolder headlines, will be used by the company’s local papers.

“My philosophy from a product and a technology standpoint is that we like to do some things artistic and some things scientific,” said Silverstein in a telephone interview. “If this page design does what it’s supposed to do, which is to get more page views, perhaps it will.”

An editorial and production staff called the national content team picks the stories for the home page each day, working with the local papers to determine the best content from the company’s 600 business journalists.

“At bizjournals.com, we weren’t using the domain the best way that we could,” said Silverstein. “I spent seven years at Yahoo, and one of the most important things was being on the Yahoo home page. That’s what we’re trying to emulate. It’s not about bizjournals.com per se, it’s about giving visibility to what the markets are doing.”

Biz reporter gets call from mortgage holder who got her number from bank

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Karen Gilblom of the Puget Sound Business Journal notes that she received a call recently from a Wells Fargo mortgage customer — who says she got the reporters number from the bank — about modifying her mortgage.

Gilblom writes, “McCague said Parker spent nearly five hours with her on the phone sorting through mortgage issues. At the end of the conversation, McCague faxed the bank more than 100 documents that were needed to resolve the confusion over her mortgage. However, the talk was not entirely positive.

“‘They were very concerned I had reached out to you,’ McCague told me, in a follow-up call. ‘They said: ‘Penny, why would you call the media over this?’’

“That struck me as odd, of course, since McCague thought she was calling a mortgage modification helpline when she dialed my number. Further, she called my number at the instruction of a bank employee.

“That prompted me to make a second call to the Seattle-area Wells Fargo spokeswoman. After having to leave voicemail, I got a call back a few hours later – but from an Iowa-based Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Division spokesperson who asked for a couple days to look into the matter.”

Read more here.

Editor of Pittsburgh weekly named editor of the Dallas biz journal

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Lauren Lawley, the editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times, has been named the editor of Dallas Business Journal. Both papers are owned by American City Business Journals.

Paul Gough of the Dallas paper writes, “Lawley Head joined the Pittsburgh Business Times as editor in February 2003 from the Dayton Business Journal, where she was managing editor. All three papers are owned by American City Business Journals, which publishes more than 40 business newspapers around the country. She will begin her new job in Dallas in January 2012.

“The Pittsburgh Business Times is in the process of hiring a new editor.

“While at the Pittsburgh Business Times, she led the newsroom through a redesign, the upgrading of its daily and online coverage, as well as the launch of products and events including Energy Inc., CFO of the Year and the Guide to Western Pennsyvlania Schols. The Pittsburgh Business Times has won many awards during her tenure, including a 2010 Best in Business investigative award for “Big Pharma’s Deep Projects” and a 2009 enterprise award, both from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

“‘I am immensely proud of the Business Times. It has been an honor to work alongside such a talented team and a heck of a lot of fun getting to know the people and businesses in western Pennsylvania,’ she said. ‘It is hard to say goodbye, but, at the same time, I’m looking forward to new opportunities ahead.’”

Read more here.

Crain’s Detroit to expand coverage

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Mary Kramer, the publisher of Crain’s Detroit, writes about how the weekly business newspaper wants to expand its coverage in the next year.

Kramer writes, “Last year, we recognized that the kind of journalism we produce at Crain’s Detroit Business would be welcomed in other parts of the state. So we created a monthly print section devoted to offering in-depth reporting on industry trends outside of Southeast Michigan. In addition to our own subscribers in Southeast Michigan, we send this monthly issue to 5,000 C-suite executives around the state.

“We also now have weekly digests of important Michigan business news and a weekly e-newsletter that offers timely updates.

“As a news organization, we at Crain’s have never felt a stronger need in our market — and our state — for reliable business reporting than we feel right now.

“Our plans in 2012 are not to retrench but to expand and provide in-depth reporting on companies and industry trends not just in Southeast Michigan but around the state.

“We’ll be announcing how we do that soon.”

Read more here.

Biz journal parent sees earnings decline

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Dolan Co., the Minneapolis-based parent company of business newspapers across the country, reported a 66 percent decline in third-quarter earnings on Wednesday due to a decline in its foreclosure legal business.

An AP story states, “Dolan Co. earned $3.1 million, or 19 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with earnings of $9 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

“Adjusted earnings were 24 cents per share, excluding one-time items.

“Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of 21 cents per share.

“Revenue slipped 4 percent to $75.3 million from $78.5 million, topping Wall Street’s $75.2 million estimate.

“President, Chairman and CEO James P. Dolan said in a statement that a slowdown in mortgage default referrals has hurt its professional services unit and its business information division. Regulatory scrutiny and new procedures have slowed the pace of foreclosures, the company said.

“For the full year, the Minneapolis company now expects adjusted earnings of 89 to 92 cents per share on revenue between $294 million and $297 million. Its prior guidance called for adjusted earnings of 90 cents to $1.04 per share on revenue of $297 million to $305 million.”

Read more here. Dolan owns the Long Island Business News, Mississippi Business Journal, the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Idaho Business Review and the Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, Ore., among others.

ACBJ papers receive awards

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American City Business Journals, the Charlotte-based company that runs 40 business weeklies across the country, named its top journalists and journalism at a banquet Wednesday night.

Among the winners were the Atlanta Business Chronicle in the general excellence category and Joe Brancatelli, who covers travel for Portfolio.com, won in the beat reporting category.

The Pittsburgh Business Times was the winner in the enterprise/investigative category for its story that disclosed that local doctors were receiving millions from pharmaceutical companies, along with an online searchable database.

The Pacific Business News, a weekly in Honolulu, won in the breaking news category for its reporting on the potential sale of Hawaii’s biggest utility in a hostile takeover.

The Baltimore Business Journal won in the blogging category for its “Back to Work” blog, in the research category, and in the in-paper section category for its Smart Strategies and Back to Work sections.

Kirsten Grind, a reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal, won in the writing category.

The Kansas City Business Journal won in the photography category, while Portfolio.com won in the infographics category.

The San Antonio Business Journal won in the out-of-paper section category for a real estate section that looked at a brewery’s conversion into commercial real estate.

Finally, the Nashville Business Journal won in the Page One category.

ACBJ used two academics — Chris Roush of UNC-Chapel Hill and Mark Vamos of Southern Methodist — and two former ACBJ paper managers — Mark Ethridge and Henry Dubroff — to judge the contest.

Going from a biz weekly to a national website — within the same company

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Earlier this year, business journalist Kirsten Grind made a big career move — from covering banks for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle to writing about Wall Street for Portfolio.com, a national business news site.

But she never left Seattle, and she never left the employment of American City Business Journals. Her move was the first for a full-time journalist at the Charlotte-based company, and it shows how the company is trying to use its talent on a national level.

“She is now covering finance for us, with a focus on hedge funds, private equity and venture capital,” said Mark Pawlosky, who is editorial director of content strategy and development at American City and also based in Seattle, in a phone interview. “It came about after she had taken her leave to finish her book and came back and was looking for some new challenges and opportunities. At Portfolio, at the same time, we were looking for someone who could step in at the national level and take a look at the remaking of Wall Street, how money was reconstituting itself.”

Grind is perhaps the best-known business journalist at the company. Grind was part of a team named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010 for coverage of the collapse of Washington Mutual and the foreclosure crisis. The book deal grew out of her reporting for the Seattle-based newspaper in 2008 and 2009. The coverage also won a Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Before she worked at the Business Journal, Grind was a writer at The Seattle Times covering biotechnology, the Port of Seattle and Snohomish County. Previously she was a business reporter and later, editor, at the largest daily newspaper in Northern Colorado. She is originally from San Diego, where most of her family still lives. She went to journalism school at California Polytechnic State University  (Cal Poly) and has worked in the field since then.

American City, which is owned by the Newhouse family, took over the Portfolio.com site after the business magazine shut its print edition. It now has a staff of seven, as well as freelancers and contractors.

Pawlosky says that the site could tap into using other reporters from ACBJ papers around the country in the future.

“We are certainly open to that, as we kind of flesh out our editorial strategy,” he said. “We have a lot of talented people, and some people have deep experience in covering industries that we want to cover.”

As for Grind, she is using her experience while at the Puget Sound Business Journal to cover venture capital, private equity and other money matters on a national basis.

“She had developed a great source network while she was doing the coverage of Washington Mutual,” said Pawlosky. “What we’re asking her to do is identify this new area and this new beat. And she has aggressively gone after it. She had a great Q&A this week with the head of Google Ventures, its venture capital business. and she has done some good reporting so far.

“I think the shift from writing for a print publication into a digital, more of a blogging environment, more of a 24/7 environment, is not an inconsequential transition, but she is doing a great job.”

Ohio business journal could appear in new Clooney movie

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Caleb Stephens, the managing editor of the Dayton Business Journal, writes that the American City Business Journals paper could make a cameo in the new George Clooney movie “Ides of March.”

Stephens writes, “The political thriller, set for theaters nationwide Oct. 7, was shot earlier this year around Southwest Ohio, including in Oxford at Miami University.

“Before filming started, production officials contacted the Dayton Business Journal to possibly include the paper in certain scenes. It is unclear whether the DBJ will appear or not.

“The movie centers around an Ohio presidential primary with Clooney playing Ohio’s governor and Ryan Gosling as his idealistic staffer.

“The Sony film, also directed by Clooney, has received strong reviews from the film festival circuit.”

Read more here.