Tag Archives: Websites


BuzzFeed business appeals to the millenials


BuzzFeed business editor Peter Lauria was on Bloomberg Television earlier Wednesday to discuss with Pimm Fox its strategy in terms of what stories it covers and who is attracted to its content.

Business Insider new

Business Insider unveils new design


The Business Insider website has a new design Wednesday morning.

“It has been about three years since we made significant changes to the design,” said founder and editor in chief Henry Blodget in an email to Talking Biz News. “We figured it was time to make some!”

There were three primary goals with the redesign:

Responsive design. Adapts to different screen and browser sizes to give the best possible view to every reader, whether by mobile, laptop or desktop screens). This concept is mostly applied to smaller screens (mobile, tablet), but Business Insider has now added sizing for huge desktop screens.

Bigger photos. Digital is an amazing medium for visual storytelling, and Business Insider wanted to take full advantage of that. Now in the full-width view, we can display larger pictures like this.

Dynamic, personalized story selection.  Business Insider is now using technology to present a different selection of stories to each reader. The goal of this is to give each reader more stories tailored to their specific interests, thus increasing the value of the site. Business Insider is doing this in a limited way now, but if readers like it, it will do more of it going forward. Business Insider’s technology is also now surfacing more stories that are being actively shared, which readers tend to love.

“We also wanted make the site easier to use and read,” said Blodget. “I’m going blind in my middle age, so I need a nice big font.”


Yahoo Finance hires two biz reporters


Yahoo Finance has hired to business journalists to work on its finance news desk.

Rick Newman was hired from U.S. News & World Report. He is “doing GA stuff and has already written a dozen or so pieces for us,” said Finance editor in chief Aaron Task.

Newman had written for U.S. News for more than 15 years, covering corporate and consumer trends from the magazine’s New York bureau. He was also the magazine’s car reviewer.

Newman frequently wrote about bellwether firms such as General Motors, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, The Carlyle Group, and the nation’s major airlines, focusing on issues that impact consumers. He has also played a key role in the expansion of the magazine’s online business coverage.

From 1995 through 2001, Newman was U.S. News’s chief Pentagon correspondent, covering wars in Bosnia and Kosovo and reporting from military bases, ships, airplanes, and submarines around the world. He helped anchor the magazine’s 9/11 coverage and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In addition, Aaron Pressman has been hired from Reuters. Task says he is going to be a senior reporter, focusing on technology sector.

Pressman has been a journalist focused on business, technology and investing for over 20 years, writing for the new services Reuters and Bloomberg and publications such as Wired, The Industry Standard and The Christian Science Monitor.

After five years working on the staff of BusinessWeek magazine, where his “Investing Insights” blog won the silver medal for best blog of the year from the American Society of Business Publication Editors in 2007, Pressman was a Boston-based correspondent for the Reuters News service.

cnbc dot com

CNBC.com has highest May visitors ever


CNBC.com was visited by 8.6 million unique users in May, up 33 percent compared to the same time period last year, according to data from comScore Media Metrix.

This is the site’s best month ever in terms of unique visitors since its launch.

In addition, CNBC’s iPhone application posted 582,000 unique visitors in May, a 2 percent increase year-over-year, according to Omniture.

CNBC mobile web recorded 2.8 million unique visitors for the month, a 1 percent increase year-over-year.

And CNBC’s iPad app posted 424K unique visitors in May, down 5 percent compared to last year.

Jennifer Merritt

A look at the new BBC Capital


Jennifer Merritt is the editor of BBC Capital, the new business news website launched Thursday by the British television network.

She came from Reuters, where she had been working on the wealth management coverage team. Before that, she was financial markets editor at the Associated Press.

She also had senior editorial positions overseeing personal finance, wealth and markets coverage at the Florida Times-Union, Money and smartmoney.com and wsj.com. She also has been department editor of management education at Business Week.

BBC Capital is as an opportunity to deepen the media company’s relationship with the readers of BBC.com. With Capital, it expects to see users spend longer time on each visit and return to the site more often.

Capital was designed with both audiences and advertisers in mind. As with the BBC’s other feature sections, Capital will be supported by advertising.

Merritt spoke by email on Thursday with Talking Biz News about the new site. What follows is an edited transcript.

Why did the BBC decide to launch this website?

The purpose of Capital, like all of BBC.com’s feature sections, is to offer BBC’s global perspective on key stories. BBC has been doing business newsgathering for ages and Capital aims to tap into that content and brings it to a more relatable level.

BBC has had business news, and to some extent, news features, but Capital adds additional focus and content that readers are interested in but that is not found elsewhere on BBC.com.

Who do you see as its biggest competitors?

In the broader sense of trusted, smart, non-commodity stories that inform and make you think, I’d say it’s the same competitor group for the broader BBC, including WSJ and CNN (CNNMoney in this case), NYT, The Economist.

But our goal with Capital is to bring a global perspective to the topics of careers, leadership and management, workplace, personal finance and risk. In that sense — making sure as many of our stories as possible bring a global perspective — I don’t see too many other publications doing that.

What will you do on this site that will be different than other business sites?

The main thing: Bring global perspective to these business of life topics. Capital is focused on the individual, from career to finances and other decisions — all at a global level.

Are there specific areas of coverage that you will focus on?

Careers, leadership, management, workplace (including special packages on women and work), risk, personal finance (including investing, saving, spending and retirement), and good business (including workplace ethics).

How big is your staff, and where will all of the content come from?

Currently, there are two editors in New York, with a third to be hired outside the U.S. Our content comes from a group of trusted freelancers with strong expertise in the topic areas they write about.

For instance, Ronald Alsop, former WSJ editor and writer and author of a book on millennials, is writing a column for Capital on the changing workplace. Sydney Finkelstein, Dartmouth professor who focuses on executive failures, is writing a column on executive and leadership issues. Elizabeth Garone, former WSJ Career Q&A columnist, is handling a career Q&A for Capital. Those are just a few examples.

We’re also tapping into the broader BBC correspondent and stringer Rolodex to bring stories and other content from all over the globe.

What have you brought to this job that you have learned from your other business journalism positions?

For starters, connections. That’s not so much something I’ve learned, but more developed over the years. Some of the freelancers working with Capital, I’ve known since my years at BusinessWeek (2000-2005). I also learned to manage massive projects in prior jobs at BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal (2007-2011) and that’s helped me immensely in developing and getting Capital off the ground.

A stronger eye for good stories and images (which can be tough for some business pieces), for interesting ways to approach topics and a framework for figuring out the right tone are other things I’ve learned elsewhere that I’ve brought to this job.

Oh, and when you ask people to go above and beyond, make sure you’re going above and beyond for them. Doughnuts, cupcakes and cookies all help!

Is the goal to make the BBC a more important player in U.S. business journalism?

That may be one of the goals. But among the key goals was to provide the sort of content people reading BBC.com already are looking for. The audience comes to BBC.com for its news, and increasingly its business news. Extending that to “the business of life” topics adds more for those readers. It all makes BBC.com more engaging.

And, yes, there’s a hope — like with most new BBC efforts around the world—to expand the audience and be an important player.

Tell us about what you have been doing to get the site up and going since leaving Reuters.

Working non-stop! I started by developing the focus and perspective, including brainstorming and deciding on the columns and video series we would feature. From there, I pulled in freelancers to take those columns and series on.

Add to that broadening the freelancer base to add to the mix of smart stories, finalizing design elements, editing stories for the site, and the nitty-gritty of producing what you see on BBC Capital.

In the middle of all that, I’ve been talking to potential content partners, brainstorming new ideas for the future, and helped interview and hire a deputy editor, Chelsea Emery, also from Reuters.

BBC Capital

BBC launches U.S.-based biz news site Capital


Josh Sternberg of Digiday.com writes about Capital, the new business news site from the BBC.

Sternberg writes, “Editorial is being led by former WSJ and BusinessWeek editor Jennifer Merritt and will feature content from former WSJ columnist, Liz Garone, former host of ABC News’ Money Matters Kelsey Hubbard and former WSJ editor Ron Alsop.

“Capital is also starting with a built-in audience beyond the wider BBC.com audience. It teamed up with LinkedIn to produce a weekly column from LinkedIn’s influencer program. Execs like Richard Branson often write on the LinkedIn platform on a range of professional topics, and Capital will highlight many of the insights from these leaders.

“‘So often, when you sit where I sit, you’re trying to figure out how to mesh competing interests: what’s best for the reader and what’s best for the advertiser,’ Ascheim said. ‘[Captial] is one of those times where the edit propositions matches advertiser propositions.’”

Read more here.


Reuters News & Insights goes behind paywall


Thomson Reuters News & Insight content will be available exclusively on WestlawNext, as part of its Practitioner Insights offering, later this month.

On June 21, the Thomson Reuters News & Insight website, iPhone app and newsletters will be discontinued.

A company statement states,”When we launched News & Insight, our focus was on providing current awareness content that was tailored for a legal professional, combining world-class journalism with legal analysis and tools to help customers identify opportunities that will drive their success. Practitioner Insights on WestlawNext is an important step forward in this vision, with actionable current awareness that is integrated into the everyday workflow of WestlawNext customers.”

The statement later adds, “Practitioner Insights are practitioner-focused pages on WestlawNext that bring legal professionals the exclusive current-awareness information and analysis that they need to stay up to speed and lead in their practice area. Each page is maintained by a dedicated team of attorney editors who monitor a specific practice area and curate breaking business news, exclusive insight and analysis from industry experts, as well as the most comprehensive collection of litigation materials and primary legal content, to ensure that WestlawNext customers will be the first to know about actionable emerging developments that matter to them and their clients.”

Read more here.


Erin White named WSJ.com home page chief


Wall Street Journal real-time news editor Stephen Wisnefski sent out the following staff promotion on Wednesday:




We are pleased to announce that Erin White has been appointed WSJ.com home page chief and deputy editor on the newly created Real-Time News Desk. Erin’s ascension underscores our commitment to enhancing WSJ.com’s ability to produce extraordinary digital journalism by drawing on the resources of the global news operation.

As we amp up WSJ.com, Erin will help drive sharper, faster coverage of breaking news and advocate specifically for online readers. Erin will play a lead role in planning coverage, marshaling resources, building digital savvy in the newsroom and exploring and developing new digital ways to tell stories. In addition to overseeing a team of New York-based WSJ.com editors, Erin will help guide the Real-Time Desk’s teams of writers and editors, and will work closely with news editors and bureau chiefs around the world to set digital priorities.

Erin is particularly well-suited to her new role. In nearly 15 years at the WSJ, Erin has demonstrated time and again strong news judgment, grace under pressure and an ability to work effectively across the entire newsroom. She has also displayed a creative approach to bringing news to online readers – combining speed with comprehensiveness and accuracy, and upholding our highest standards in the digital era.

Erin comes to her new role from Page One, where she has spearheaded digital projects and strategy, and managed our major prize submissions. She was previously a senior editor for WSJ.com, and prior to that was the inaugural Real Time Deputy for the Corporate Desk, positions where she managed the Journal’s rapid response on major stories from the death of Steve Jobs to Facebook’s IPO to the London Olympics.

Previously, she ran the Management & Careers group, covered advertising and retail out of London, and reported on media and marketing in New York. Erin joined the Journal as an intern with the law group in 1998.

Erin will start her new assignment on July 1 and will report to Steve Wisnefski. Please join us in wishing her well in this important new role.

Quartz launch

Biz news site Quartz is model for modern publishing


Josh Sternberg of Digiday writes about The Atlantic’s business news site Quartz and how it has been a model for success.

Sternberg writes, “On the traffic front, Quartz is growing, reporting 2.3 million monthly uniques last month. Comscore puts it at a more down-to-Earth 882,000 desktop and 333,000 on mobile, which is a shade under The Financial Times (1.2 million) and The Economist (2.3 million). Not too bad for the new kid on the block.

“Quartz was billed as a mobile-first destination, and as such, it eschewed creating a homepage. Instead, it focuses on the article page, and the internal traffic numbers point to how Quartz content is being read and shared. Lauf said that 31 percent of Quartz’s traffic comes from direct, and more than 50 percent comes from social. Mobile, he said, fluctuates between 25 and 31 percent.

“‘The punchline is this shows how the rapid transition of consumers to smartphones and tablets, and creates a window of opportunity for new publisher entrants to grab share,’ Kunz said. ‘If I were a digital publisher, I’d think it’s game on.’”

Read more here.

Greg Bartalos

Behind the scenes at Barrons.com


Greg Bartalos is the editor in chief of Barrons.com, the online site for the weekly business newspaper.

He rejoined Barron’s as editor of Barrons.com in early 2009, following his most recent role as assistant managing editor of Yahoo! Finance, a position he held since 2006. He previously served as senior editor of Barrons.com. In his role, Bartalos oversees editorial content for the site, as well as online community-building initiatives and Barrons.com’s relationships with other sites.

He joined Yahoo! Finance in 2005 after serving as senior editor of Barrons.com for four years. Previously, Bartalos served as managing editor and an editorial consultant for Individual Investor Online from 1998-2001. He was also a reporter for Bloomberg News and Institutional Investor. Bartalos began his career at Competitive Media Reporting as an audio editor.

Bartalos graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Bartalos spoke earlier this week by email with Talking Biz News about the Barrons.com operation. What follows is an edited transcript.

What is the daily coverage philosophy of Barrons.com?

We try to report on and interpret key news events while emphasizing ways in which readers can profit or at least not lose money. While the daily news cycle drives our coverage, the past informs what we do and the future is our focus. In that context, analysis remains paramount. We regularly write about securities we deem undervalued regardless of whether they are making news. Ultimately, our readers are in search of value, and our job is to find it for them. Barrons.com, which is ramping up video efforts, also provides advice on how to navigate the world of wealth management via its Penta section, which caters to families with assets of $5 million or more.

We offer a wide array of stories, including in-depth interviews with money managers and longer more analytical pieces, complemented by shorter items, often found on our blogs. Including blog posts, Barrons.com publishes roughly 1,000 stories per month on weekdays.

Who do you see as your competitors for markets news?

Many sites cover markets news and provide timely analysis but I wouldn’t single out any. We think we have sufficiently differentiated ourselves with our high-quality editorial offerings that focus on providing actionable ideas to investors. As such, we are not a news site per se. And while most of our competitors are free, we fortunately have been successfully charging for many years.

How do you decide what content is for subscribers, and what content is free?

It’s pretty straightforward. Our daily analysis is generally behind a pay wall. However, our videos, which editor Jack Otter is very effectively building out, are free as are our blogs: Tech Trader Daily (Tiernan Ray), Focus on Funds (Brendan Conway), Emerging Markets (Ben Levisohn), Income Investing (Michael Aneiro), Penta (Richard Morais) and Stocks to Watch. Our magazine content, published every Saturday morning, is for the most part behind the pay wall. But we do experiment with selectively making content free.

The site recently added a portfolio tracker. What was the reasoning?

The new portfolio is a larger Dow Jones initiative designed to encourage frequent usage. The service, provided by LikeAssets, allows readers to automatically and securely sync all their portfolios from more than 40 brokerage firms. The portfolio, which integrates Barron’s analysis and news from The Wall Street Journal, also includes breakdowns of asset allocation and visually alluring performance graphs. Readers can also track investments based on institution, beneficiary or goals.

Tell me about the new feature that analyzes markets coverage from other media.

Helmed by executive editor John Kimelman, Read This, Spike That was created early this year to help investors navigate an ever more cluttered media landscape. It’s easy to see why many feel overwhelmed by the abundance of investing advice hitting them. That’s why in John’s column he discusses the relative merit of a few stories each day, rating them on a one- to five-star basis. Ultimately, in a media-drenched environment, any guidance that can help readers navigate a complex and fast-moving market serves a useful purpose.

Does any of Barron’s content come from your sisters at The Wall Street Journal or Marketwatch?

No. Our stories are created in-house but of course we link to them and vice versa.

Who is the typical Barrons.com reader?

We have a very sophisticated and high net worth readership, composed of individual and professional investors. Average household net worth is north of $2.5 million. And the average reader makes 60 securities transactions per year. Our readers are very loyal, spending over two hours each week reading Barrons.com, with more than half that time devoted to weekday content. Time after time, I have heard readers recount how they grew up watching their fathers read Barron’s on Saturday mornings. Then they fell into the habit and found it a hard one to shake!

When you rejoined Barron’s in 2009, the site had 150,000 subscribers. Where do you stand now?

We are at about 170,000 paid subscribers. Overall, though, from a business standpoint, our focus has been on increasing overall circulation revenue.

And monthly visitors were at 2 million in 2009. Where are you at now?

We are comfortably above that. However, as mentioned above, our focus has been on growing profits — not chasing traffic for traffic’s sake.

What do you attribute that growth to?

Hopefully, the quality of our work is resonating with readers. Efforts on Facebook and Twitter are helping too. We also have expanded into mobile with an iPad app that’s proven popular along with, more recently, an iPhone app that features daily content.

What do you see as the top features of the site that attract most readers?

Randall Forsyth’s Up and Down Wall Street Daily is a big draw as is Tiernan Ray’s tech coverage. Also, Steve Sears’s options column and Michael Kahn’s technical analysis enjoy loyal followings. Jack Hough draws many readers as does David Englander who specializes in “off the radar” stocks. Barron’s Take, which analyzes companies making news, is written by Teresa Rivas, Johanna Bennett and Dimitra DeFotis. They also write the longstanding Weekday Trader feature, which highlights attractive investments.

Wall Street’s Best Minds, which showcases commentary from leading thinkers, has done very well since its January launch. And Investors’ Soapbox, a perennial draw that highlights third-party big-picture analysis, is overseen by managing editor Ed Lin. Inside Scoop, by Grace Williams, has a dedicated following, too. Finally, Richard Morais, with his witty and insightful writing for Penta, covers wealth management, philanthropy, real estate, art, food, culture and more with aplomb.

When you came back from Yahoo! Finance, was there anything that you learned there that you applied at Barron’s?

Yahoo! Finance was different in some fundamental ways. Free versus paid. Massive audience versus a relatively smaller one, etc. But Yahoo reinforced in me the importance of being nimble and timely when programming online content. When I returned to Barrons.com, I wanted to keep the analytical component of the site front and center while giving much more prominence to the daily news cycle. Barron’s Take, which we launched in 2009, is the poster child for that synthesis.

What’s your favorite Alan Abelson story?

I would suggest looking at the stories shared by Alan’s colleagues in a series of recent remembrances that appeared on Barrons.com. Words can’t fully describe how eloquent, witty and fearless Alan was. His impact on colleagues, friends and readers has been staggering. A true giant, Alan is greatly missed.