Tag Archives: Information
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Business editor Patrick Scott tells Talking Biz News that Stodghill’s appointment was announced Thursday to the staff. The column will run a couple of days per week.
“He’ll be breaking news, analyzing the fissures of a bank town under strain and how it goes forward, illuminating the characters behind Charlotte’s rise and fall and rise,” said Scott. A start date for the column has not yet been determined, but will be determined in the next couple of weeks.
Stodghill had been a writer for the Sunday business section at the Times until he left the paper in December 2007 to become editorial director of six magazines published by the Observer. Before that, he had been a senior editor at Fortune Small Business.
Stodghill graduated from the University of Missouri in 1986. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and worked at BusinessWeek from 1989 to 1997. He was the Time magazine Midwest bureau chief as well.
Stodghill is also the author of “Redbone: Money, Malice and Murder in Atlanta” (HarperCollins, 2007), and co-author of “No Free Ride,” former U.S. Congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfumeâ€™s best-selling memoir (Ballantine Books, 1996).
DISCLOSURE: Stodghill and I worked together at BusinessWeek from 1993 to 1994.
Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, a business reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has resigned to become a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, according to a memo posted on MinnPost.com.
The memo, from senior business editor Doug Iverson, states, “Since joining the newspaper three years ago this week, Nicole has played a leading role in some of the newspaper’s highest profile work. The Ramsey Town Center series,Â awardedÂ aÂ nationalÂ certificate of merit from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Denny Hecker coverage, recently highlighted by the Wall Street Journal, are just two examples.
“We knew Nicole had a lot of energy when she joined us. She came with a mile-long source list,Â Â a catalogue of story ideasÂ Â and a deep understanding of the financial beat.Â Â She soon showed us she was also a quick studyÂ who could jump in on a breaking storyÂ off her beat and still trounce the competition.Â Watching her work these past few years has been inspiring. Equally inspiring has been Nicole’s commitment toÂ theÂ profession, exemplified by her tenure as president of the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.”
Read more here. Her position apparently won’t be filled. Garrison-Sprenger had also spent three years at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Matt Kempner is one of several dozen business editors at daily newspapers across the country struggling to maintain proper coverage of the local business world with a smaller staff and a smaller news hole than in previous years.
Kempner became the business editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution six months ago after a short stint as its ombudsman. The Atlanta paper moved its business news coverage inside the A section earlier this year, and it’s lost more than half of its business staff to buyouts, retirements and resignations.
Kempner is a former business reporter at the paper, having covered the media beat and other topics such as growth and water. He also worked out of the paperâ€™s Gwinnett County bureau at one point, and he previously worked at the Gwinnett Daily News, the former New York Times Co. paper that the Journal-Constitution purchased in the 1990s and closed.
Kempner is a University of Georgia graduate. He is a 2005 Society of American Business Editors and Writers Best in Business Award winner in the Enterprise category for a story he did with ex-colleague Maria Saporta on Home Depotâ€™s corporate giving. In 2007, he was part of a team that won a Best in Business Award in the breaking news category for the coverage of the departure of Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli.
My favorite Kempner story, however, is when he donned the brown of a UPS driver and drove around one day on a truck, delivering packages during Christmas. The paper posted a short video about it. Here is his story. (DISCLOSURE: Kempner and I worked together on the AJC business desk from 1994 to 1997, and we remain close friends.)
Kempner — who is actually looking to hire a new business reporter to cover Coca-Cola and the restaurant industry — talked to Talking Biz News via e-mail about his job. What follows is an edited transcript.
How is your job as business editor different than a business editorâ€™s job a decade ago?
During most of my career at the AJC, business editors worked with a bigger staff and spent more time than I have on broad administrative functions. They had more time, I think, to contemplate story selection and the broad direction of the business section. They had a sounding board of full-time business line editors to shape ideas and consider story play.
A lot has changed, in part because our staff is smaller and because the AJC has switched to a different system. I get input from other editors on staff. But I donâ€™t have the base of business line editors we once had. I work with reporters on story ideas. I assign stories. I work on the overall direction of coverage. I donâ€™t line edit copy and often donâ€™t see stories before they run. Line editing is done by a pool of editors on what we call the word desk.
They work with me, but they donâ€™t report to me. Usually, the work of business reporters is funneled to a word editor experienced in business news. While I lead the bulk of the business reporting team, a few business reporters and a columnist report directly to other editors.
How does being a business journalist prepare you to be a newsroom manager?
Most of my career has been as a reporter. I heard from lots of business leaders about management and leadership. Iâ€™d like to think that I was a good listener and picked up ideas along the way. But, letâ€™s face it, listening isnâ€™t the same as doing.
Are there any things that youâ€™d like to change about the paperâ€™s business coverage?
We have had the benefit of getting more feedback from readers, but weâ€™re working with a smaller staff and less space for business news. In the daily paper we are concentrating on hard news, often in smaller, faster slices than what we had in the past. Still, even on short stories, we want readers see they are getting something more than an encyclopedic recitation of the news. We continue to push for stories that lean forward, giving readers a sense of where the news is headed.
I would like to put less emphasis on quarterly earnings as we go forward. I worry about how easily quarterly data can be massaged by companies. And Iâ€™m uneasy about putting much weight on comparing quarterly results to analystsâ€™ expectations, which are influenced by guidance from the companies themselves. It sort of seems like gaming the system.
As the AJCâ€™s public editor, you were looking into new avenues such as Twitter and Facebook and how they could help journalism. Any thoughts about how they could specifically be used for business news to improve quality?
As for Twitter and Facebook, the AJC is evolving from having a few dedicated, smart social media regulars. Weâ€™re moving to employ social media more broadly through much of the staff to get news to readers, to build our brands, to get input and tips, to help readers feel connected. For business readers we are still early in experimenting with what options work the best for them.
Is Twitter the way they want to get quick business news bursts, while maybe Facebook offers a slower, more social pace? Whatâ€™s the best way to let readers segment what they get â€“- commercial real estate news or updates on moves by Coca-Cola or Home Depot — without flooding them with too much or redundant information?
When I was public editor, we looked at a variety of ways to make better connections with readers and to get meaningful feedback. Which outlet you choose or build is only part of the equation. Asking readers for feedback is the easy part.
What happens next is harder. We wanted to make sure that we were set up to acknowledge what readers said, study it, quickly act on the best of it, report what we did and keep the cycle going. And if you want more than one-off comments — if you want continuing help from a broad array of readers — they need to be able to see whatâ€™s in it for them.
How do you feel about the perception that dailies are ceding business news to the business weeklies?
Iâ€™m surprised if people have that perception.
Whatâ€™s your plan for meeting with the local business community?
To do it more. Iâ€™ve done very little of it so far.
Bob Mong, the editor of the Dallas Morning News, writes Sunday about how the paper has expanded its relationship with the Financial Planning Association of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Mong writes, “‘For years, we have answered readers’ financial questions in the Business section. Now we’ve taken the service much further, thanks to a network of local financial planners,’ said Dennis Fulton, our Business editor. ‘The service is free of charge for qualifying readers.’
“Here’s what’s available to you:
You can pose a simple financial question at our Expert Financial Advice blog. Just go to www.dallasnews.com/financialhelp and click on ‘ask a question’ and a financial expert will respond.
If you have a more complex question or if you’d like to meet with a planner, go to the same blog and click on ‘meet with a planner’ to see if you qualify for a free meeting.
To have a complete financial plan prepared, click on ‘apply for a money makeover.’”
Read more here.
John Hoke, the business editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, writes how the paper has expanded its business news desk when others have contracted.
Hoke writes, “In the face of the biggest economic crisis of most of our lifetimes, many newspapers, including some of the largest, responded to the financial pressures by reducing and sometimes eliminating their dedicated business sections. Many reduced — and in a few instances, eliminated — their business news staffs.
“Not The Times-Dispatch. Leading the charge chanting ‘economy, economy, economy’ was Executive Editor Glenn Proctor, a former business editor and business reporter. Instead of reducing coverage, Proctor has expanded The T-D’s business news desk.
“In the spring, staff writer Peter BacquÃ© joined the desk to cover transportation and energy issues, including electric utilities. This fall, David Ress, a longtime investigative reporter with a wealth of experience analyzing databases and financial records, joined the team as the primary economy reporter. Longtime medical writer Tammie Smith came over to business news to bring a new focus to our coverage of the health care industry, one of the largest sectors of the region’s economy.
“Business reporter Emily C. Dooley will shift her focus to technology and how it affects the way businesses conduct their work and how people live their lives. She also will be working on improving and expanding business news coverage online and through multimedia.”
Read more here.
The Latin Business Chronicle, an online site focusing on business news in Latin America, has been sold, reports the South Florida Business Journal.
The Journal reports, “The acquisition adds another publication to Miami Mediaâ€™s stable, which includes Latin Trade magazine, LatinTrade.com and the Bravo Business Awards.
“Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Latin Business Chronicle, which will become a division of LatinTrade.com, is a subscription-based Web site that provides information primarily to an institutional audience: corporations, service companies and governments active in Latin American trade and investment.
“Miami Media is a subsidiary of Manhattan Media, a New York-based community media company.”
Read more here.
Abel Harding, a blogger and a former bank executive in the Jacksonville area, has been named a business columnist for the Florida Times-Union, according to a story on its Web site.
The story states, “‘Abel has been a banker, but clearly, his heart and soul are in journalism. Heâ€™s smart, talented, curious and dedicated — and perfect for this new role,’ Denton said.
“‘He has broken a lot of stories in this town, and now heâ€™ll be breaking them for us,’ Denton said. ‘This is an important part of our expansion and improvement of our business coverage, with more to come.’
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“In other changes, veteran reporter Roger Bull has moved to the business staff where he will contribute in-depth reporting and business reporter Kevin Turner will shift his focus to provide substantially more coverage of small businesses, both in print and online.”
Read more here.
The Springfield News-Sun in Ohio reports that the Cox newspapers in the state will launch a business magazine called Springfield B2B in February 2010.
The story states, “SpringfieldB2B will be mailed to a proprietary list of over 3,000 Springfield business decision makers and key economic stakeholders, including members of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“‘We look forward to serving the needs of the Springfield business community with this new vehicle, which demonstrates our commitment to the Springfield business market,’ explained Jim Bebbington, Editor of the new SpringfieldB2B, and managing editor of the Springfield News-Sun.
“A division of Cox Media Group, Cox Ohio Media reaches over one million adults each week with its print and online products, and publishes the Dayton Daily News, the Springfield News-Sun, the Hamilton JournalNews, the Middletown Journal, the Oxford Press, Fairfield Echo, Western Star and four editions of the Pulse-Journal in addition to â€¨e-papers and various targeted websites in the Dayton, Springfield and Northern Cincinnati region.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Reuters recent hires of investigative business reporters and an enterprise editor signals the wire service’s increasing focus on bigger-picture business news stories, says the news editor for company news in the Americas.
“We’re a lot more aggressive at hitting the big stories hard,” said Martin Howell in an interview Monday with Talking Biz News. “This organization has changed progressively during the past 10 years.”
Howell pointed to the hiring last week of Kansas City Star business reporter Dan Margolies and former Toledo Blade investigative reporter Steve Eder earlier this year as part of that effort. Eder is a banking reporter for Reuters and tracked down government “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg earlier this year on Martha’s Vineyard for a story.
In addition, Reuters has hired Jim Impoco, formerly with the New York Times business section and Conde Nast Portfolio, as its enterprise editor, a new position at the wire service
However, Howell said that there will be no specific investigative reporting unit. Margolies, he said, will work with Rachelle Younglai, the Reuters reporter covering the Securities and Exchange Commission on financial fraud stories.
“We felt the need to do this for some time,” said Howell about the Margolies hire. “It just took a while to find the right person. As to whether there will be similar appointments, I don’t know yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Howell pointed to Reuters coverage of the Allen Stanford fraud story, where the wire service sent reporters to Antigua before any other business news media, and its coverage of the former head of American International Group Inc.’s derivatives unit, as examples of its recent aggressive, investigative coverage.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
A number of top-notch staffers at BusinessWeek magazine have left or announced their intention to leave the weekly business magazine in the past few weeks.
Many of these staffers are leaving amid rumors that there will be dramatic reductions in the number of journalists working for the magazine once it is sold.
Brian Grow, a senior writer who worked on investigative projects out of the Atlanta bureau, has left the magazine to work at the Center for Public Integrity, an investigative reporting operation based out of Washington.
Grow joined BusinessWeek as a staff writer in 2004 covering retail, airlines, telecom, immigration, and computer security. In 2008, his series on the business of poverty was a finalist for a National Magazine Award and two Loeb Awards and won a Sigma Delta Chi Award, a National Press Club Award, a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award, and The James Aronson Award for Social Justice, among others.
Others who have also announced that they’re leaving or have left include:
1. Keith Epstein, a correspondent in BusinessWeek’s Washington bureau, working on investigative pieces. From 1986 until 1999, Epstein was an investigative reporter in the Washington bureau of The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Newhouse News Service. His work has included examinations of medical experimentation on patients without their consent, and preventable transportation disasters that recurred while fixes made their way through federal bureaucracies.
2. David Kiley,Â a senior correspondent in BusinessWeek’s Detroit bureau. Previously, he was marketing editor. Prior to this, he was Detroit bureau chief for USA Today. Kiley has held editor and reporter posts at Adweek, Brandweek, and CNN. He has also worked in the advertising industry. Kiley is the author of “Getting The Bugs Out: The Rise, Fall and Comeback of Volkswagen in America,” winner of the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Industry Journalism in 2001, and “Driven: Inside BMW, The Most Admired Car Company in the World.” He was the 2005-2006 president of the International Motor Press Association.
3. AaronÂ Pressman, a correspondent in BusinessWeek’sÂ Boston bureau. He was previously senior market columnist at TheStreet.com and a reporter for Bloomberg News in Boston. Prior to that, he was a senior writer at The Industry Standard. He previously spent 12 years covering finance and technology for a variety of publications in Washington, D.C., and New York. He created an Internet and politics beat at Reuters in 1997 and was a freelance contributor to Wired.
Epstein is going to Huffington Post, he talls Talking Biz News, working on its investigative project, while Pressman is joining Reuters in its Boston bureau, where he will cover investments and wealth management. Kiley says he is going to write a screenplay and going to work at a firm in Ann Arbor, Mich., called Icon Creative Solutions, which creates Web-based content for companies.