Tag Archives: BusinessWeek

Blodget's big bet on business journalism online


Andrew Goldman of Bloomberg Businessweek writes in the latest issue about former Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget and his business news site The Business Insider.

Goldman writes, “Blodget added new content and expanded the site into a collection of blogs under the TBI banner — Wall Street, tech, media, and the like. He started aggressively using search engine optimization, or SEO — essentially finding out which subject are Googled most often and writing posts about those subjects, leading to coverage of everyone from The New York Times‘ Paul Krugman to Tiger Woods to Al and Tipper Gore. He also raised money—about $3 million in venture capital funding in addition to another round he is completing now, and his staff has grown from 3 to 30 employees.

“The strategy seems to be working: According to Blodget, his site is getting about 4 million unique visitors per month, which translates to about 2 million people. TBI counts Mercedes-Benz, American Express, and Harvard Business School as advertisers, and Blodget claims that TBI will break even this year; he hopes that display ads soon will be only one part of the company’s revenue. He wants to develop a business model similar to the blog TechCrunch, which makes a significant portion of its revenue by hosting multiday conferences, a ticket to which costs almost $3,000. Blodget is also trying to launch a business-to-business subscription service that would provide companies with the kind of detailed analysis he once provided on Wall Street.

“Blodget’s hits-at-all-costs strategy has generated a healthy share of debate in the online media world. In March, John Carney, the managing editor of Clusterstock, TBI’s Wall Street vertical, was fired, by many press accounts because his posts weren’t attracting enough clicks to justify his high salary. The Thomson Reuters business blogger Felix Salmon took to Twitter to defend his dismissed friend, criticizing TBI for its click-baiting practices, specifically citing a story about American International Group’s distressed asset sales that was illustrated with two attractive women in bridal gowns making out. ‘Henry talks about selling high-value analysis to financial professionals, but at the same time he’ll put up two girls kissing and embrace being called the Hooters of the Internet,’ Salmon says. ‘It becomes much harder to sell that kind of thing because it’s all a little bit schizoid, really.’”

Read more here.

Liking the new Bloomberg Businessweek


David Warsh of EconomicPrincipals.org writes that the revamped Bloomberg Businessweek is now a much more interesting read than when it was owned by McGraw-Hill.

Warsh writes, “Instead, each issue begins with what regularly seems to be its best piece, what newsmagaziness used to call a ‘violin,’ here designated ‘Opening Remarks.’ This week it was Hugo Lindgren’s turn, in Who Would Bet Against John Paulson? New York Times columnist and Princeton professor ‘Paul Krugman would.  The hedge fund wizard is wildly bullish, while the economist is forecasting pain. The gods can only reward one.’

“Then comes a potpourri of forty or so short articles from around the Bloomberg empire, organized in various departments (‘Global Economics,’ ‘Technology,’ ‘Companies and Industries,’ ‘Politics and Policy,’ ‘Markets and Finance,’ ‘Etc.’), plus various other cross-platform odds and ends – perhaps a Charlie Rose interview (from Bloomberg Television); a Tom Keene podcast; or a  Michael Lewiscolumn. Scattered between these items are three or four specimens of long–form high-quality magazine journalism, handsomely illustrated.  They include this week former Intel chief executive Andy Grove on How to Make an American Job; free-lancer Maureen Tkacik on The Pragmatic Rebels of Economics; and Bloomberg’s Tim Adams on The Amazing Adventures of Tyler Brûlé.

“Is it an accident that Grove takes on Times columnist Thomas Friedman; that Tkacik’s piece about at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Laboratory (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built around Esther Duflo and Abhijit Bannerjee, of MIT, and Michael Kremer and  Sendhil Mullainathan, of Harvard, is the kind of article that the Times magazine doesn’t do much any more (Ian Parker profiledDuflo in The New Yorker in May);  or that Brûlé is a new media entrepreneur (WallpaperMonocle) whose Fast Lane column on the back page of the Weekend section of theFinancial Times is the apogee of cool?  I don’t think so – and that is probably not bad for the Times. The formula is still uneven and hard to follow at Bloomberg’s Businessweek, but the experimental sensibility is exciting.”

Read more here.

Bloomberg Radio reaches syndication deal for Businessweek shows


Bloomberg Radio and United Stations Radio Networks announced Wednesday that Bloomberg Businessweek‘s radio programming will now be nationally syndicated.

The new Bloomberg Businessweek radio content will expand upon existing Bloomberg Radio and United Stations Radio Networks’ current offerings to provide updates and in-depth feature programming that impact a broader business audience as well as listeners from outside the financial community interested in timely business news they can use in their everyday lives.

“We’re extremely pleased to offer this new general market business content, which includes consumer-friendly updates as well as a weekly two-hour show with news and analysis adapted for radio from the writers of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine,” said Al Mayers, station manager for Bloomberg Radio, in a statement. “The new content helps us reach a wider audience, with stories that impact not just investment professionals but listeners interested in the business community at large.”

The new content offerings for weekends and weekdays are:

-”Bloomberg Businessweek Updates,” a 60-second updates discussing the companies, personalities and emerging trends that interest business leaders and consumers around the world.  “Bloomberg Businessweek Updates,” featuring editors and reporters from the magazine, are produced multiple times a day, Monday through Fridays, with additional updates available for weekend airings; and

-”Bloomberg Businessweek Radio,” a new, weekly two-hour show hosted by Bloomberg Radio veterans Ken Prewitt and Pimm Fox that focuses on Bloomberg Businessweek’s ground-breaking cover stories and the most intriguing news and content from the latest magazine.  Prewitt and Fox are joined by top editors and reporters providing additional insight on their work. “Bloomberg Businessweek Radio” is presented on Friday evenings at 8 p.m. EST with additional feed times for airings throughout the weekend.

Welles took on the oil industry


The New York Times has an obituary Wednesday of noted business journalist Chris Welles and recounts how he took on the oil industry in the 1970s.

Dennis Hevesi writes, “His 1970 book, ‘The Elusive Bonanza,’ accused the oil industry of neglecting the development of America’s vast oil-shale reserves. It was an expansion of an article he had written for Life magazine several years earlier. Life did not use the piece, and after Mr. Welles sold it to Harper’s, Life fired him.

“The book had repercussions in 1977, when he was named director of the Walter Bagehot Fellowship Program in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia (now the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program). For 35 years, it has provided a midcareer opportunity for business journalists to expand their expertise. Shortly after Mr. Welles’s appointment, the Mobil Oil Corporation withdrew its financial support for the fellowships, saying that while it considered the program excellent, it ‘didn’t have confidence in the leadership.’

“Besides Life, Mr. Welles also worked for BusinessWeek, The Saturday Evening Post and The Los Angeles Times. Among his awards for business reporting were a Gerald Loeb Award and a National Magazine Award. He ran the Bagehot program until 1985.”

Read more here.

WSJ hires another writer from BusinessWeek/Bloomberg



The Wall Street Journal has hired a second former BusinessWeek writer who became a Bloomberg News hand after it acquired the weekly business magazine.

Ben Levisohn will be covering stocks and investing for the Money & Investing section under Ken Brown, according to a source at the Journal.

Last week, the Journal hired Jessica Silver-Greenberg away from Bloomberg, shortly after she penned a cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek. Silver-Greenberg will also be working for the Money & Investing section.

At BusinessWeek, Levisohn covering finance and personal finance. After teaching preschool for three years, Levisohn moved to New York to trade stocks. He caught the tail end of the bubble and then traded through the long decline and recovery. He left trading in 2006 to attend the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where he received a master’s degree in journalism.

He joined BusinessWeek in 2007 and Bloomberg at the end of last year.

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.”