Tag Archives: Fortune

No comment

What “no comment” means when covering M&A

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Dan Primack of Fortune.com writes about the semantics of “no comment” from a company CEO who may or may not be involved in negotiating a merger or acquisition.

Primack writes, “I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion (including about me), but I do feel that there may be a fundamental misunderstanding about what ‘no comment’ usually means to reporters.

“My argument was largely that Marco, assuming he didn’t want to confirm the report, should have simply said ‘no comment’ (assuming he picked up the phone in the first place). That way he neither violates NDA nor lies.  But some of you argued that a CEO’s ‘no comment’ is de facto confirmation. A non-denial, as it were.

“For those who feel this way, please know that you are mistaken. ‘No comment’ is exactly that, no comment. Neither confirmation nor denial. In fact, it’s only real use to a reporter is that it lets us know our inquiry was received. Any reporter who bases stories on his or her hunch as to the deeper meaning of ‘no comment’ will soon be out of a job for printing all sorts of inaccurate stuff.

“A few readers also emailed to sympathize with Marco, with one asking ‘what else could he do to kill the story?’

“The answer here is ‘probably nothing.’ Once a reporter calls a CEO about something like this, it means the leak has already occurred. And the reporter likely trusts the original source(s). Perhaps you can bribe the reporter with a ‘better’ story if they hold the scoop, but that’s only if you actually have something of superior value.”

Read more here.

bloomberg markets magazine - february 2014 cover hedge fund rankings

Biz magazines underperformed industry in 2013

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Business magazines brought in fewer ad dollars in 2013 compared to the previous year, underperforming in an industry saw a slight increase in advertising revenue.

The 14 business magazines reported ad revenue of $1.33 billion in 2013, down 4.8 percent from 2012, according to data from the Publishers Information Bureau analyzed by Talking Biz news. In comparison, the consumer magazine industry reported a 1.1 percent increase in 2013.

In terms of ad pages, the business magazines reported  a 9.0 percent decline to 13288.80 pages in 2013, while the overall magazine industry reported a 9.0 percent decline.

The business magazine comparison includes the 2012 data from Smart Money, a Dow Jones & Co. personal finance magazine that stopped print publication that year. Excluding the Smart Money numbers in the comparison, business magazines still underperformed the industry, with a 3.1 percent drop in ad revenue and a 5.8 percent drop in ad pages in 2013.

The best-performing title among the business magazines was Bloomberg Markets, which reported a 14.7 percent increase in ad revenue to $38.3 million, and an 11.1 percent increase in ad pages to 774.26

Another strong performer was Barron’s, which reported a 9.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $67.4 million and a 6.4 percent increase in ad pages to 1,269.4.

The worst-performing was Black Enterprise, which reported a 38.6 percent decline in ad revenue to $15.8 million in 2013 and a 38.2 percent drop in ad pages to 338.38.

Among the big three business magazines, Fortune performed the best. It posted a 2.4 percent rise in ad revenue to $213.5 million and a 3.8 percent decline in ad pages to 1,408.77.

Forbes remained the top business magazine in terms of ad revenue and ad pages, but it saw declines in both. Its print ad revenue fell 5.3 percent to $260.4 million, while its print ad pages fell 10.4 percent to 1,644.24.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported a 9.5 percent drop in print ad revenue to $200.7 million and a 12.4 percent decline in ad pages to 1,306.26.

See all of the data here.

 

Erin Griffith

Fortune.com hires Griffith from PandoDaily

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Erin Griffith, who covers New York start-ups for PandoDaily, has resigned to accept a position at Fortune.com.

Fortune announced the hire on its Twitter feed. The Time Inc. magazine is in the process of hiring reporters and editors for its website, which will split off later this year from CNN and CNNMoney.com.

Griffith worked as staff writer for Adweek and a private equity blogger for peHUB. Her writing has appeared in Venture Capital Journal, BBC.com, Time Out New YorkHuffington Post, FT.com, and BUST.

She was also a reporter for Mergermarket, where she broke M&A auction news in the consumer products, retail, apparel and food & beverage sectors.

Griffith is an Ohio University graduate.

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair, Fortune switch roles

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Eric Starkman, a public relations professional, writes that Vanity Fair magazine and Fortune magazine appear to have switched roles with the hard-hitting business coverage appearing in the former about Yahoo’s CEO.

Starkman writes, “I can’t do justice summarizing McLean’s prodigious reporting in this space, but suffice to say that McLean shatters many myths, including that Mayer’s departure was a major loss for Google. McLean reveals that many of the accomplishments that have been attributed solely to Mayer during her time at Google were more a team effort.  Indeed, her star had been losing its luster there when she left for Yahoo! (a point underscored by McLean’s reporting that there was no shortage of people who actually cheered Mayer’s departure). It’s noteworthy that code-writing Google engineers didn’t follow her out the door despite the fact that Mayer is an engineer; the only Google recruit was a PR person, who, quite tellingly, was Mayer’s first Yahoo! hire. McLean also suggests that if Mayer hadn’t given Dan Loeb a sweetheart deal to go away, the savvy investor quite possibly might have fired her.

“Reporting excellence aside, McLean’s article is also notable for where it appears. Vanity Fair, a glossy monthly better known for its stories on the lives and scandals of the glitterati among Hollywood, Washington, Wall Street and the like, has emerged as a bastion for more thoughtful and insightful explanatory business journalism.  The magazine has published a slew of impressively provocative business features, including Sarah Ellison’s reporting on Rupert Murdoch’s empire (here, here, and here, among others) and her profile on CNN host Piers Morgan, Michael Lewis’ story about Goldman Sachs’ seemingly undo influence with federal prosecutors, and William Cohan’s less-than-flattering profile of investor Dan Loeb.

“McLean wrote for Fortune magazine a few years back. At the time, standard-setting expository and investigative journalism was the magazine’s raison d’être. As I predicted, however, the magazine didn’t fare well under the stewardship of Laura Lang, who was forced out last year, and is no longer the leader of the pack, partially due to a top talent exodus. In addition to the departure of Hank Gilman, a highly respected managing editor known to favor hard-hitting stories, the magazine also lost James Bandler, a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter who was responsible for some of Fortune’s most noteworthy features (see here).”

Read more here.

Fortune

Fortune.com seeks news editor

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Fortune.com is looking for an experienced, energetic and innovative editor to oversee our growing coverage of business news.

The ideal candidate will have previous online news editing experience, a passion for breaking stories on the web, a proven track record of using social and search to stay on top of trending news, and excellent headline and line editing skills. The ideal candidate should have at least 4 years of business journalism experience, with some background managing staff, as well as strong communication and organization skills to manage the section’s day-to-day operations.

This person will oversee a small group of reporters and will be responsible for setting the news agenda each day. He or she should have knowledge of SEO and social media best practices.

To apply, go here.

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Fortune.com seeks London editor

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Fortune.com is looking for an experienced business journalist to become its first editor in London.

The ideal candidate will have previous online news editing experience, a passion for breaking stories on the web, a proven track record of using social and search, and excellent headline and line editing skills. This person will be expected to write and edit news stories and he or she should feel comfortable working independently in the mornings before the New York office has opened.

The ideal candidate should have at least 4 years of business journalism experience, as well as strong communication and organization skills to manage the section’s day-to-day operations.

To apply, go here.

Fortune

Fortune.com seeks news editor

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Fortune.com is looking for an experienced, energetic and innovative editor to oversee our growing coverage of business news.

The ideal candidate will have previous online news editing experience, a passion for breaking stories on the web, a proven track record of using social and search to stay on top of trending news, and excellent headline and line editing skills.

The ideal candidate should have at least 4 years of business journalism experience, with some background managing staff, as well as strong communication and organization skills to manage the section’s day-to-day operations.

This person will oversee a small group of reporters and will be responsible for setting the news agenda each day. He or she should have knowledge of SEO and social media best practices.

To apply, go here.

Jean Chatzky

Chatzky begins writing column for Fortune

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Personal finance journalist Jean Chatzky will begin writing a regular column for Fortune.com called  “Money Sense From Jean Chatzky.”

The first column, about financial bullies, can be found here.

Chatzky’s column will run weekly online — but she will be contributing to all platforms — so her column could appear in the print magazine at times and she could do video content for Fortune down the line as well. She will also work in Fortune’s conference business, such as its Most Powerful Women conference.

“Jean is someone I have known for a long time, just in the biz,” said Andy Serwer, the magazine’s managing editor, in a phone conversation with Talking Biz News. “I have a lot of respect for the kind of stuff that she does. Personal finance is very appealing, both toward men and women, but maybe more toward women. And she has built up a brand for herself.”

Chatzky is the author of at least eight personal finance books. She has worked at Forbes and SmartMoney and was eventually brought on as the financial editor of “Today” on NBC. She has also written a column for the New York Daily News. Chatzky has also contributed to a number of other magazines, including Money, O Magazine, and More.

In 2009, the Consumer Federation of America awarded Chatzky the Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award for her nearly two decades of pioneering personal finance education. She has also received the Clarion Award for magazine columns from the Association of Woman in Communications and a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television Inc. The Chicago Tribune named Chatzky one of the country’s best magazine columnists.

 

Forbes cover Blakely

Why Time Inc. should buy Forbes

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Lucia Moses of Adweek writes Tuesday about why a Time Inc. purchase of Forbes magazine makes sense even though it already owns Fortune.

Moses writes, “Fortune has a meager online presence, having been a channel of JV partner CNNMoney.com over the course of their 8-year partnership. (Fortune doesn’t say what its dedicated traffic is, but one person familiar with the business estimated it to be around 2 million monthly uniques.) Come next May, that partnership is set to dissolve, leaving Fortune on its own to start a new financial news website.

“But that’ll be an uphill battle in a category already crowded with bigger, more established online competitors like The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, Forbes. Forbes would give Fortune instant online scale, with 28 million uniques worldwide (per the company, citing comScore). It also would give Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp a way to boost his digital credibility and appear to be a risk-taker with the Street, as Forbes now gets more than half of its ad revenue from digital. (There’s also been talk that getting a deal done pre-spinoff also benefits Time Inc. because the bill would be paid by Time Warner.)

“A Forbes deal also could accomplish symbolic, but still important goals. Ripp has been trying to change the company’s culture and move into new ad formats. Forbes has built its business on the unorthodox practice of letting advertisers (as well as unpaid outside contributors) publish on the site alongside paid staffers—a controversial move, but one that’s been widely imitated by other online publishers. Forbes expects one-fifth of its ad revenue to come from its BrandVoice native ad platform this year.”

Read more here.

Carol Loomis

Loomis inducted into NY Journalism Hall of Fame

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Fortune senior editor-at-large Carol Loomis was inducted into the Deadline Club’s New York Journalism Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Anne VanderMey of Fortune writes, “Loomis, who started at the magazine 60 years ago, was one of the first prominent female financial journalists. She began as a research associate at age 24 and climbed through the ranks, churning out influential stories. One piece compelled the government to begin releasing corporate-style annual financial statements. Another, in 1966, introduced the world to a new financial concept of a ‘hedged’ fund. In that story, Loomis first mentioned a relatively obscure company called the Buffett Partnership, touching off a long friendship with Omahan investor and sometime world’s richest man, Warren Buffett (see her book, Tap Dancing To Work).

“Her secret sauce: ‘I will confess that almost all my inspiration has come from one emotion, fear,’ she joked in her acceptance speech. ‘And terrible dread of the moment when I will finally be exposed as a fraud.’ Her salve has been a mammoth commitment to thorough reporting. ‘I have never met a document I don’t like,’ she wrote in a retrospective at the 51st anniversary of her Fortune start date. Fortune’s editors posited another theory: ‘Her colleagues know where these business-changing, Congress-stirring stories really come from: her conscience. Carol is the soul of this magazine.’

“Among her other honors are two Gerald M. Loeb Awards, the Gerald M. Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award, and the first-ever Henry R. Luce Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Loomis, who is 84 years old and still breaking news, has few words to say on retirement: ‘I probably have to do that one of these days.’”

Read more here.