Tag Archives: Fortune
Keith Kelly of the New York Post reports that well-known Fortune writer Bethany McLean is leaving the magazine after 13 years for a job at Gordon Carter’s Vanity Fair.
Kelly writes, “Portfolio had tried to get her to jump ship a year ago when CondÃ© Nast was launching its business magazine, but Time Inc. editor-in-chief John Huey intervened to help Fortune win that tug of war.
“Calls to McLean were not returned by presstime, but Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer said she has given notice. ‘We’re sorry to see her go.’
“‘I think I’m going to give her a party at the Waverly Inn – and see who picks up the check,’ he joked, referring to Carter’s Greenwich Village pub.
“Upon hearing that, Carter said that ‘I’ll split the tab with him and I’ll work the bar.’ Carter said McLean would not be starting at Vanity Fair until late June – until after her wedding.”
Read more here. McLean is best known for her reporting about Enron.
Jeff Bercovici of Conde Nast Portfolio has his farewell e-mail that praised the paper’s investigative stories. In it, Bandler wrote, “Most of my time at the Journal has been spent in Boston, where I have been fortunate to witness some extraordinary journalism. The reporting here has been shepherded by three superb bosses. These editors — Caleb Solomon, Gary Putka, and Mark Maremont — created environments where tough, probing journalism flourished. They also understood that great Journal stories — whether complex corporate probes or powerful narratives — can take weeks, if not months of reporting time.
“But I remember those stories. Like the article for the New England edition of the Journal in 2000 that exposed Boston’s Big Dig as an enormous boondoggle. Written by Geeta Anand and edited by Caleb and the great Larry Rout, the 2,700-word piece began with typical Wall Street Journal understatement: ‘James J. Kerasiotes is not a meek man.’ It was a gutsy story. Geeta’s work ran counter to other media accounts, which had characterized the country’s biggest public works project as a success.
“Then there was Dan Golden‘s powerful series on white affirmative action, edited by Gary Putka. ‘Of the 79 members of the class of 1998 at the Groton School, 34 were admitted to Ivy League universities. Not Henry Park.’ Three thousand words later, Dan had changed millions of Americans’ perceptions of affirmative action.
“My last boss, Mark Maremont, had the foresight to propose the project on stock option manipulations. It took a lot of courage for the paper to run the first story. Our editors made sure that plenty of space was available for ensuing follow-ups.”
Read more here.
Jossip takes a look back at the stock picks made by Fortune in its December 2007 issue and compares their performance to the overall market.
Jossip wrote, “Throw digits on the cover and travelers rushing through the airport and moms browsing through Barnes & Noble are more likely to pick up your rag. Which explains why, in December, Fortune gave you a list of 10 stocks they thought were sure bets to increase the value of your portfolio in 2008.
“The S&P 500 Index is down 5.46%, the Nasdaq is down 9.21%, and the Dow Jones Industrials Average is down 3.32%.
“Annaly Capital Management (NLY). ‘It buys mortgage-backed securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Macâ€¦’ Down 5.5%.
“Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B). ‘Warren Buffett knows how to exploit panics.’ Down 9.73%.
“Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods (DKS). ‘Dickâ€™s emphasizes a store-within-a-store sales approach. Each department has its own look and staff, which appeals to the enthusiast who purchases a lot of sporting goods.’ Down 4.43%.
“Electronic Arts (ERTS). ‘Still, if thereâ€™s one tech niche that should be immune to a slowdown, itâ€™s videogamesâ€¦ Itâ€™s now the No. 2 developer of Wii games, behind only Nintendo.’ Down 10.87%.
“Genentech (DNA). ‘Even with the FDA setback, Genentech is still expected to grow earnings 18% next year.’ Up 7.22%.“
Read more here. Two stock picks — Petrobas and St. Joe — are up for the year.
Davdi Weidner of Marketwatch writes Thursday about how business journalists made CEOs celebrities, and how some of these CEOs now need to earn their celebrity status.
Weidner writes, “Until a few years ago, the American chief executive used to be largely anonymous.
“Back in the 1970s, when stock ownership was mostly the province of sophisticated investors, CEOs were reclusive. They were stodgy, old, white men who didn’t give interviews. When they did, they had all the charisma of the fine print in a 10Q.
“That all changed in the 1980s when magazines such as BusinessWeek, Fortune and Forbes put American CEOs on the front cover accompanied by flattering profiles inside. The blossoming business media ushered in the era of the celebrity chief executive.
“It’s in that culture, the culture we have today, that three chief executives – - Jeffrey Immelt, Ken Thompson and Kerry Killinger — made their names. Immelt, Thompson and Killinger also have something else in common: they all were exposed as overhyped pedestrian CEOs this week.”
Read more here.
Josh Quittner, the former editor of Business 2.0 who went to Fortune when the former folded last year, is headed to Time magazine, writes Keith Kelly of the New York Post.
Kelly writes, Business 2.0 “ended up being one of the more expensive magazine failures in Time Inc. history, losing more than $100 million before closing last year.
“Quittner said he’ll be writing a column every other week in Time magazine and doing a daily blog.
“‘I’m a consumer facing guy and what I really enjoy writing about is how the changes that whip through tech land effect regular people like us,’ said Quittner.”
Read more here.
A majority of the 17 business magazines posted a decline in ad sales in the first three months of 2007, according to data from the Magazine Publishers of America analyzed Monday by Talking Biz News.
Eleven magazines saw declines, with five posting increases. Conde Nast Portfolio did not publish in the first three months of 2007.
The biggest declines occurred in the personal finance category, with Smart Money reporting a 17.7 percent drop in ad dollars to $10.5 million in the first three months. Its ad pages fell 21.4 percent. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance fell 17.2 percent in ad dollars to $8.5 million, and its ad pages fell 20 percent. Money magazine saw a 6.3 percent decline in ad dollars to $28.1 million, and a 5.5 percent decline in ad pages to 147.
Among the big business magazines, BusinessWeek fared the worst, with a 15.5 percent decline in ad dollars to $53.9 million and a 19.4 percent drop in ad pages. In comparison, Forbes reported an 8.3 percent drop in ad dollars to $61 million and a 13.2 percent fall in ad pages, while Fortune posted a 1.7 percent increase in ad dollars to just below $50 million for the quarter and a 0.9 percent drop in ad pages.
The biggest gainer, however, was Fast Company, which reported a 35.5 percent increase in ad dollars to $7.2 million, followed by the Economist, which reported a 27.3 percent jump in ad dollars to $31.3 million. Wired magazine also had a strong quarter, with a 22.8 percent increase in ad dollars to $20.5 million.
The only other business magazine to post a gain for the quarter was Inc., which saw a 4.6 increase in ad dollars to $17.9 million. Its major competitors, Entrepreneur and Fortune Small Business, saw declines of 5.8 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively.
See all of the data here.
Bandler will become an editor at large at the magazine, he told Talking Biz News in an e-mail. He will start May 19.
Bandler was based in the Journal’s Boston bureau. He joined the Journal in September 1999 as a health care and education writer for its New England regional edition and later covered media companies from New York.
His work at the paper includes features on accounting fraud at Xerox Corp., executive theft at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and price-fixing in the chemical shipping industry. He broke the story on Harvard Business Review involving the publication’s former top editor and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.
Bandler began his journalism career as a Sunday features writer for the Rutland Herald and Barre Times Argus in Vermont. He later worked for the Boston Globe.
Bandler is also the recipient of several other honors for the backdatingÂ series including: the Gerald Loeb Award, the George Polk Award for business reporting, The National Headliner Award for business news coverage, Gilbert and Ursula Farfel Prize for Investigative Journalism, and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Bandler graduated with honors from Brown University in 1989 where he studied media and modern culture.
Fortune magazine writer Jessi Hempel writes in the latest issue about what makes business news cable channel CNBC so successful.
Hempel writes, “At CNBC, broadcast veteran Mark Hoffman has added edge and emotion to a network that was heavily criticized in the run-up to the tech bust for its rah-rah business take on the news. Hoffman was in fact the news director there before leaving to run a local NBC station. When he returned as president in 2005, ratings had hit their lowest level since the channel launched in 1989, and primetime was given over to reruns of the Conan O’Brien Show, as well as fare like tennis pro John McEnroe’s talk show, which sometimes earned a Nielsen rating of 0.0.
“Hoffman, who came up with a four-part mantra for the channel — fast, accurate, actionable, unbiased — began his CNBC tenure wandering the newsroom floor, checking in with reporters directly. ‘Mark is remarkable because he says, ‘Tell me what you need.’ And we get it,’ says Jim Cramer of Mad Money.
“Hoffman describes CNBC’s formula for investotainment this way: ‘We’re always looking for qualitative combat on the air. Most of these conversations live somewhere between fear on one end and greed on the other. One person wants to unload something, and another person wants to pick it up.’ His boss Jeff Zucker, in charge of NBC Universal, credits him with changing both the management team behind the scenes and the on-air look of the network.”
Read more here.
Jossip reports, “When that article hit, Kevin Goldman (then the VP of CNBC publicity and a former Wall Street Journal report) fired off an angry three-page letter to Fortuneâ€™s editors, weâ€™re told, complaining about the rival network receiving such gratuitous coverage just out of the gate and demanding ‘better treatment’ for CNBC.
“Now, it could be argued, Fortune is offering a make good: The GE finance network is set to receive its own lauding coverage in the magazine.
“Weâ€™re told Jessi Hempel is penning the piece and, according to cable industry sources she spoke with, promised the article will be ‘extremely positive.’ After all, relays a source, Hempel says she was ‘told to write a positive piece about CNBC’ and has declared sheâ€™s a fan of CNBC chief Mark Hoffman.
“When asked about the situation, Fortune chief Andy Serwer responded in a statement: ‘This article is an in-depth snapshot of CNBC, the only one that has been written in the last 5 years, with the kind of reporting, fact-checking and honesty that readers have come to expect from Fortune.’”
Read more here.
Quittner writes, “That’s because, like any business, blogs must keep growing to thrive. And Arrington intends to thrive. The site brought in $800,000 in 2006 and $3 million in 2007 – and the growth rate hasn’t slowed. But the beast must be fed, and that means hiring more writers to amp up daily output. What started as a passion – a guy in his bedroom writing about startups and the wild go-go gold rush of Silicon Valley – has given way to covering daily tech news.
“I don’t mean to make too much of this. And Arrington certainly doesn’t. He’s too professional for that. A Stanford University-educated attorney, Arrington decamped from a short run at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the Valley’s best-known tech law firm, to do biz dev at a variety of startups before launching TechCrunch.
“His site hit a few bumps in the road. At one point he took heat for writing about companies in which he had an undisclosed stake. This is verboten in the business press but seems only to have enhanced his street cred in the Valley. A ‘Disclosures’ entry on his blog currently lists investments in six companies, including a social network for dog owners called Dogster. ‘Don’t look for the golden fountain of objectivity,’ he has written. ‘It doesn’t exist.’”
Read more here.Â