Tag Archives: BusinessWeek

Ex-BusinessWeek editor Shepard fondly remembers Welles


Talking Biz News asked Steve Shepard, the editor of BusinessWeek from 1985 to 2005, for some thoughts about business journalist Chris Welles, who worked at BusinessWeek for 13 years and died this weekend.

Here is what Shepard, now the dean at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, had to say:

“Chris Welles was a genuinely good guy with a journalistic soul. He very much believed that it was the job of the press to  hold  people in power accountable for their actions and to ferret out wrongdoing.  He spent his career doing that, first as a writer, then as a senior editor at Business Week. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s,  Chris was probably the premier business writer around, the guy who did the tough stories.
“In his early years, Chris was one of the regulator writers for Institutional Investor, an innovative magazine about Wall Street in the 1970s.  He specialized in narrative accounts of shennaigans, abuses, and downfalls.  He was also a very successful freelancer, contributing to New York magazine, among others.  From 1977 to 1985, he headed the Walter Bagehot Fellowship Program in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University. I had served as the first director (1975-76) and Soma Golden the second (1976-77). The program ran into financial difficulties during Chris’s tenure, but he fought to continue it and eventually weathered the storm.  Now called the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program in Business and Economics Journalism, it has just finished its 35th year as a mid-career opportunity for business journalists.
“When I was editor-in-chief of Business Week, I jumped at the chance to hire Chris in the mid 1980s as a senior writer specializing in investigative and narrative pieces.  Though he was soft-spoken and always polite, he was a tenacious reporter with a passion to get the bad guys. I eventually promoted him to senior editor in the finance department because I figured his impact would be felt more by having him work with writers every week rather than write a piece himself every couple of months. And I wanted him to teach the next generation of upcoming reporters. Chris took to editing like a fish to water, passing along a lot of knowledge about finance, a lot of wisdom about reporting complex stories.  He was respected and liked by his colleagues.
“Like Lou Gehrig in 1939, Chris started losing some of his skills, and nobody knew why.  He was eventually diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease and retired from Business Week. It was a tragedy for him and his wife Nancy, and a terrible loss for all of us. He took business journalism to a new level, setting the bar ever higher for the rest of us.  He has left a legacy for all of us to honor.”

Welles, top business journalist, dies


Chris Welles, who ran the business journalism program at Columbia University and was also a top business journalist for publications such as BusinessWeek, died Saturday after an extended illness.

Floyd Norris of the New York Times writes, “Chris ran the Bagehot program (now the Knight-Bagehot program) at Columbia University for many years. That program offers midcareer journalists a chance to spend a year studying at Columbia. Some, as I did, stay on to complete an M.B.A.

“Chris was less than overwhelmed when I applied for a spot as a fellow in 1981-’82, when I was a business writer at The Associated Press.  He put me on a waiting list, to be considered if a better applicant decided not to attend. One did so, and that proved to be the turning point of my career and life.  Chris taught me a lot about journalism and business, both while I was at Columbia and later on as a good friend.”

Read more here.

Chris was one of my editors at BusinessWeek in 1993 and 1994, and I considered it a privilege to work for the man. He taught me so much about Wall Street and finance in a short time. A senior editor at the publication, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 1997.

From 1977 to 1985, he served as director of the Bagehot Fellowship Program at Columbia University and as a professor of journalism. In the process, he helped train many of today’s leading business journalists.

At BusinessWeek from 1986 to 1999, he was an in-house teacher of journalism excellence.

Welles enjoyed a diverse career in business journalism, serving as business editor of the Saturday Evening Post, a contributing editor to Institutional Investor, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and as an editor and writer for Business Week. His awards included the Gerald Loeb, John Hancock, National Magazine Award and the University of Missouri business-writing award.

His book “The Last Days of the Club,” is a business journalism classic on the impact of the end of fixed commissions in 1975 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Writer of latest BusinessWeek cover story leaving for WSJ



Jessica Silver-Greenberg, who wrote the latest cover story for Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine, confirmed to Talking Biz News on Wednesday that she is leaving Bloomberg for a job at The Wall Street Journal.

Silver-Greenberg’s cover story was on market experts who have been predicting a bear market. At BusinessWeek, she covered consumer credit, student loans, predatory lending, and education, as well as general finance topics. Before joining the magazine, she worked as an investigator for the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem where she helped defend men and women charged with felonies.

Silver-Greenberg says she will be working for the Money and Investing section of the Journal. While there, she might occasionally work with Rob Hunter, a former Businessweek assistant managing editor who is now the Journal’s personal finance editor. Ken Brown is the head of the section.

She previously was a reporter for BusinessWeek.com. She has written previously for The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Newsweek and Pacifica Radio’s WBAI. Silver-Greenberg has a degree in literature and American studies from Princeton University.

Fortune publisher named publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek


Bloomberg Businessweek announced Wednesday that Hugh Wiley has been named publisher.

He succeeds Jessica Sibley, who announced earlier this week she was leaving to become publisher of The Week.

Wiley, who is currently publisher of Time Inc.’s Fortune, will be responsible for leading Bloomberg Businessweek’s integrated sales team and driving all global advertising-based revenue for the magazine and Businessweek.com. He will begin his new role on June 28 and will report to Paul Bascobert, president, Bloomberg Businessweek.

Bascobert commented, “Hugh joins us at a very exciting time and is the ideal publisher to take Bloomberg Businessweek to the next level. Following our successful relaunch in April, we are poised for significant growth in our global reach and influence. Hugh brings the leadership, global experience, and strong client relationships to get us there.”

Daniel L. Doctoroff, president, Bloomberg L.P. said, “Hugh’s decision to join Bloomberg Businessweek is testament to our product and strategy. With strong domestic and international experience, covering both print and digital, we’re thrilled to have him on the team.”

During his tenure at Time Inc. Wiley oversaw global advertising sales for a stable of business titles; numerous relaunches, repositionings, and redesigns; and launched multiple international expansions and licensing agreements.  He is credited with growing advertising revenues and market share across multiple media platforms including print, digital and events.

Bloomberg Businessweek announces new hires


Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel sent out the following announcement to the staff on Tuesday:

“It’s my pleasure to announce several new hires.

“Staff writer Felix Gillette joins us from the New York Observer, where he’s written more than 20 cover stories on media and business. Prior to his stint at the Observer, Felix worked at the Village Voice, Columbia Journalism Review and the Washington City Paper. He loves breaking news—so much so that he Tweeted his own hiring at Bloomberg Businessweek. Nice work Felix. Felix is a graduate of Columbia University.

“Associate features editor Bryant Urstadt has already made an appearance in Bloomberg Businessweek. His profile of Roger McNamee was a highlight of our May 7th issue. As a writer, Bryant has contributed to almost every magazine worth reading — Harper’s, The New Yorker, New York, Wired, and MIT’s Technology Review to name just a few. As an editor, he’s worked on launches at Wenner Media and Hachette, and was a general editor at Time Out New York. Working with Hugo Lindgren and Sheelah Kolhatkar we expect he’ll continue to do a bit of both. Bryant is a Dartmouth grad, and is currently pursuing an MBA at Baruch College.

“Associate editor Barrett Sheridan comes to Bloomberg Businessweek from Newsweek, where, even though his title was staff writer, he edited the Technology and InternationaList pages. After graduating Stanford, Barrett began his career at the World Bank, where he was plucked by Fareed Zakaria to be a research assistant before transitioning to Newseek’s web site and ultimately the magazine. Barrett will work with Ellen Pollock and Brian Bremner on the snake sections at the front of the book.

“Designers Evan Applebaum and Kenton Powell will work with Richard Turley and Cindy Hoffman as our in-house info-graphics team. After a stint as an intern at The Onion, Evan launched his career in the graphics department of the National Defense University Press, where he learned a lot about weapon systems, before moving to Infographics Inc., where he learned a lot about civil litigation. Kenton comes to us from Forbes Media, where he was a senior designer for infographics. In addition to experience as an Apple Store ‘Genius,’ Kenton has also worked at ID Magazine. Evan is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. Kenton is a graduate of the School of  Visual Arts.

“Bryant and Kenton will begin work on June 21. Felix, Evan, and Barrett will  start June 28. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming them all.”

Businessweek publisher leaving for The Week


Jessica Sibley, the publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek for the past two years, is leaving the magazine for a similar post with The Week.

Russell Adams of The Wall Street Journal writes, “Ms. Sibley succeeds Jed Hartman, who left the magazine in March to become group publisher of Time Inc.’s Fortune and CNNMoney.

“In her new role, Ms. Sibley will oversee sales and marketing at The Week, which has emerged in recent years as a rare bright spot in a magazine industry beset by advertising declines.

“Launched in the U.S. in 2001 by Felix Dennis, The Week offers a weekly digest of commentary on big events of the past seven days, culled from thousands of outside sources.

“Readership has grown steadily. The Week is raising its rate base, or guaranteed circulation for advertisers, for the fifth time in as many years, increasing it by 10,000 to 510,000.”

Read more here.

Media reporter joining Bloomberg Businessweek


Felix Gillette, who covers the media and tech business for the New York Observer, announced Thursday that he has accepted a reporting position at Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

At the Observer, Gillette wrote about TV and digital media. A native of Washington D.C., he is a graduate of St. Albans high school and Columbia University. Previously, he has worked as a staff writer at the Washington City Paper, the Columbia Journalism Review, and the Village Voice. His freelance work has appeared in numerous outlets including the New York Times, Slate, and the Texas Monthly.

The magazine, acquired in December by Bloomberg, has been overhauling its staff and its content. A redesigned magazine was introduced in April, and the staff moved into Bloomberg’s building in May.

Gillette switched off the TV beat earlier this year to cover new media and the New York tech beat.

War of words continues between BusinessWeek and Fortune



The snippy comments between Bloomberg Businessweek and Fortune have not abated.

Time Inc., the parent of Fortune, held a state of the company meeting Friday and leader John Huey — a former Fortune managing editor — gave a talk. According to those who attended, he said that BusinessWeek was like an old couch someone dumped on the side of the road and that Bloomberg took it home with them.

Huey added that Bloomberg will probably lose money on it for years, and said that Time doesn’t engage in uneconomic vanity publishing.

When told of the comments, Businessweek spokesman Carl Fischer responded, “Coming off our successful relaunch, we’re delighted that Mr. Huey is spending so much time talking about Bloomberg Businessweek.”

Bloomberg acquired Businessweek from McGraw-Hill in December and promptly overhauled the weekly, getting rid of a big chunk of its staff and bringing in a new editor, Josh Tyrangiel, who happened to be working for Time. When Businessweek relaunched in April, Tyrangiel told Talking Biz News that he really didn’t see Fortune as competition.

Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer replied at the time that he wasn’t worried about the new Bloomberg Businessweek.

Variety hires Lowry, ex-BW staffer, as senior editor


Tom Lowry, a former BusinessWeek staffer, has been hired by Variety as its senior editor. He will be based in New York.

A story on Variety’s site states, “Lowry most recently was senior writer and media editor at BusinessWeek. In his decade-plus tenure there, he was responsible for its media and entertainment coverage, including cover stories on James Cameron, ESPN, Comcast, the NFL, digital piracy in Hollywood, and Rupert Murdoch. He also did stints at the New York Daily News and USA Today, among others.

“He begins June 28, reporting to group editor Tim Gray.

“‘Tom is a great reporter and a terrific guy who’s well respected in the industry,’ said Gray. “We aggressively pursued him and feel lucky to have him. It’s great to have another voice in the paper and the website as we continue to strengthen the global reach that no other showbiz-news outlet can match.’

“An alum of the U. of Delaware, Lowry was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in business and economics journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

“Lowry is the latest person to join the Variety masthead. Chris Krewson began as editor of Variety.com in March, two months after Leo Wolinsky took the job as editor of Daily Variety. The moves are part of an ongoing reorg as Variety and variety.com build on their coverage.”

Read more here. Variety is known in business journalism for its October 1929 stock market crash headline, “Wall St. Lays an Egg.”

BW editor: I'm seeing a lot more skepticism


Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor Josh Tyrangiel talked more with Fishbowl NY’s Joe Ciarallo about his new job, and he notes the skepticism that comes from covering business and the markets.