Tag Archives: Jim Cramer

Debra Borchardt

At the intersection of Wall and Broad

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Debra Borchardt of TheStreet.com worked in the securities business for almost 20 years, spending 15 of those years at Bear Stearns. Borchardt’s work experience covered such diverse areas as equities, fixed income and mutual funds with her last position in the clearing side of the business vetting money managers.

During her Wall Street years, she also worked as an actress appearing regularly in the soap opera “As The World Turns” and working as an extra on “Saturday Night Live.” She left the securities business to get her master’s degree in economic reporting at New York University.

Borchardt is now senior producer and a markets analyst at TheStreet.com. As senior producer, Borchardt is responsible for the quality and content of the videos at TheStreet, which produces 500 video reports a month. She is a frequent guest on CNBC, “Nightly Business Report” and ABC News Now.

Her twitter handle is @wallandbroad. For the uninitiated, the New York Stock Exchange is located at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street.

Borchardt spoke earlier this week by email with Talking Biz News. What follows is an edited transcript. (And for the record, we are big fans of Borchardt’s business journalism.)

After more than a decade on Wall Street, why did you decide to switch careers?

One job I had during my financial career was summarizing the equity analyst presentations to the sales force. Eliot Spitzer changed all that and brokerages were petrified for anyone but an analyst to talk about stocks. I moved on to vetting money managers, but that wasn’t nearly as fun and I missed talking about the market. Wall Street ceased to be fun after Spitzer and I was ready to get out, but still make use of all my years of experience. I used to act in my off hours, so being an on camera financial journalist combined my years of wall street experience with my acting background.

How does being on Wall Street help you cover the markets?

There is nothing that can substitute for going to the stock exchange every day. Talking to the guys, getting a feel for the mood and tone. You can see at the opening what is happening at a post if a crowd gathers. It’s a fast way to get lots of sources and connections.

What is your typical day like?

I have a long commute, which I use to check what stocks are moving, answer emails, send tweets and do any social media. When I get to the office, I book my first interview on the floor and prep for that. Some mornings I tape with Jim Cramer, so I pitch him ideas. We normally tape three topics, so I have to be well versed in all three. Again – prep work. I have to write up titles and callouts for these videos right away which means I don’t come up for air until 11 or so. Next, I move on to booking interviews and preparing for interviews. Ordering graphics and finding broll for videos I am producing and some writing if I have time. I will tape as many as four to seven interviews a day.

What are your goals every day in covering the market?

I try to make sure I cover the items that will be the most important topic for the day. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to prioritize what needs to be highlighted. I try to find a nugget of information that maybe other reporters haven’t hit upon on the main stories.

How is TheStreet.com’s audience different than other business media?

We have a very specific demographic. 85 percent male and mostly independent traders. They are affluent and knowledgeable about the market. So we can write and do video without having to always explain things. They mostly want stock advice, not piano-playing kittens. Our coverage is very stock focused, not so much the macro picture.

What do you think you do differently than other market reporters?

I feel like I bring an insider’s view to my reports. I tend to give color to my pieces, as opposed to straight news. I think my viewers can get market levels and headlines from most outlets, but I try to make sure I let them know what it means. Like, a stock is behaving contrary to its news. I’ll explain why as opposed to just reporting that a stock is moving in a certain direction.

How do you come up with something new every day to report?

That’s easy. There’s always news in a stock somewhere. Just look to see what stock is having lots of volume or trending on stock sites if the headlines are slow. I read a lot of SEC filings. There are a lot of hidden gems in S-1 filings for public offerings , which is an area I focus on.

Is there any difficulty in getting sources to talk when you’re reporting on investments?

Hedge funds are the worst to talk to. They never want to be interviewed. Mutual fund managers always want to talk because they want to push their fund. CEOs will talk if things are going well, but if they suddenly decline, then that means red flag and a story. Economists are terrible for video, they hedge every answer and go on and on, but they are good for print. Eventually you build up a nice network of sources, which is helpful because sometimes you end up smiling and dialing for hours to get the “right” source.

You also appear on other media. How does that help TheStreet.com?

Any time I can appear in other media, it promotes our web site. We don’t advertise and are dependent on portals and organic search. So, my appearances elsewhere gets our name in front of potential readers.

If you have some news that is breaking, how fast can you get it on the site?

We just renovated our studio, so I can tape and upload a video within minutes. We have the latest Tricaster switcher, virtual sets, LED lighting, new servers, fiber lines – you name it, we’ve got it. With our previous system, it would’ve taken 45 minutes. Our written articles can be published as soon as they are written.

Can you explain the “Test Kitchen” for people who have not seen it?

That video segment was born from reporters in the newsroom just talking about stuff we eat. Since we also cover companies, it was always a lively conversation. We’re all opinionated, so there is frequently a friendly disagreement over who has the best cupcakes or whether Chipotle is better than Cosi. We decided to put that conversation on tape and compare product as well as company. The better product isn’t always the better stock.

What is Jim Cramer really like?

I’ve worked with Jim for five years and continue to be impressed. He has a brilliant mind for stocks and a passion for the market. He is quite thoughtful in the office and has a laser-like focus for what he is trying to do each day. He is not like the “Mad Money” show; that’s TV, that’s different. No one wants to see calm and thoughtful on TV – that doesn’t sell. It’s Jim, but Jim in a ramped up way. But walking down the hallway at work, Jim’s calm and focused, which is amazing if you ever took a look at his schedule. I have learned a great deal from working with Jim. It’s been a true pleasure.

Jim Cramer

Cramer to keynote SABEW’s 50th anniversary gala

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CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer will be keynote speaker at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers 50th anniversary gala on Saturday, April 6.

“Cramer is an iconic figure who has contributed greatly to business journalism,” says Jill Jorden Spitz, SABEW president and assistant managing editor/business of the Arizona Star

About 350 persons will attend the black-tie-optional gala at the historic Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington.  Conference goers will attend the gala as part of registration to the conference, which will be held at the Marvin Center at George Washington University. Tickets to the gala only are $150, and tables of 10 are $1,450.

Proceeds benefit SABEW’s educational outreach, and a portion of the ticket price is tax deductible.

Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of American Public Media’s Marketplace, will be master of ceremonies for the event.

Cramer, a fixture as a CNBC commentator and host of “Mad Money,” founded the acclaimed business journalism outlet, TheStreet.com, in 1996.  He is a former hedge fund manager and founder/owner and senior partner of Cramer Berkowitz. His compounded rate of return was 24 percent after all fees for 15 years at Cramer Berkowitz. He retired from his hedge fund in 2001.

He’s the author of six books, including his most recent, “Jim Cramer’s Getting Back to Even,” published in 2009.  He’s a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard School of Law.

Jim Cramer stocks

Cramer’s “Mad Money” a sensation at 3 a.m.

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Claire Atkinson of the New York Post writes Sunday about how Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” show is drawing plenty of viewers when it repeats on CNBC at 3 a.m.

Atkinson writes, “Cramer’s ‘Mad Money,’ one of the most-hyped shows on CNBC, gets a larger audience when rebroadcast in the predawn hours on the NBC network than during its live 6 p.m. airing on the business cable channel.

“Our completely uninformed sources speculate that Wall Street traders are probably crawling home from clubbing at that hour and, while checking their computers for the latest on the Asian markets, have Cramer on the TV for background noise.

“NBC first started airing ‘Mad Money’ at 3 a.m. in March and whaddya know — the manic stock picker has an average audience so far of 400,000.

“The 57-year-old former Goldman Sachs trader attracts just 187,000 viewers on his CNBC show.

David Scardino, programming analyst at ad agency RPA, said: ‘It may show the staying power of a broadcast network versus a cable network. I’m surprised, but it makes you wonder how many people have fallen asleep with the TV on.’”

Read more here.

Time for Cramer to retire from CNBC?

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Steve Kanaval writes on Expedated.com that Jim Cramer needs to retire from his CNBC work.

Kanaval writes, “CNBC used to mean Consumer News and Business Channel now it means Cramer all the Time – and Not all this BooYaa Coverage of things Jim thinks are important, the show has more depth than they show, and everyone bows so much to what JC says he is like the bratty kid at the party who has to make a spectacle of himself whenever the camera is on him, and some of his silly rants (have little to do with what the original subject) make me turn to ESPN or Dan Patrick.

Joe Kernan can’t keep one line of thought going for more than 60 seconds, and Rick Santelli from the CME is always angry about something and seems to yell louder and louder without the producers managing the content.  most viewers don’t watch or listen to the show in the afternoon, and the wailing of that moron Simon is the only reason i stand up to mute the TV.  Usually I hit ‘guide” so I can find some sports or a movie which will remove me from the droll which goes on during daytime hours.  The only value after the opening bell (other than watching Mellissa Lee’s lips move like an old Speed Racer show) is the closing show where they have ACTUAL portfolio managers on the show ( I still watch M.Lee’s lips move during this show..).

“Business content and broadcasting in general has changed so much since CNBC formed in 1991..but it’s been a long slow slide for CNBC and eventually they will all ride off into the sunset … for now.  I miss my friend Mark Haines.

“As if we don’t have enough choices on cable for business coverage…any Tom,Dick or Harry can create a podcast and launch it like a monkey to the moon on a website…..even me !!!! Yessssssssssssssssss…take that Cramer !!! Please retire and write books.”

Read more here.

TheStreet.com “in turmoil,” says Cramer

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Financial news site TheStreet.com is in turmoil, says company co-founder Jim Cramer, in comments posted on FutureofCapitalism.com about his career in journalism.

FutureofCapitalism writes, “A job at the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner was an upgrade in pay — to $179 a week — but not in circumstances. His editor assigned him to try to get an interview with the ‘San Diego Sniper’ while the serial killer was still shooting. It was then that he wound up living in his 1977 Ford Fairmont. ‘Someone was murdered a few cars down from me in my parking lot home,’ Mr. Cramer recalled. On the upside, he did not need homeowner’s insurance, ‘because my collision and theft covered everything.’

“Things have since turned upward for Mr. Cramer. ‘I love my job,’ he said, advising young journalists: ‘You need the Nielsens, you need the page views, you need the showbiz.’

“‘On Monday, go register yourname.com,’ he said. ‘If you believe, as I do, that journalism is indeed commerce, you might as well own yourself.’

“In addition to his work at CNBC, Mr. Cramer also works at thestreet.com, which he described as ‘really in turmoil.’ Although he said ‘the web won’ over television, he said the web-based journalism business is tough. ‘Every year your ad rates go down,’ he said.”

Read more here. TheStreet.com has named a new CEO and a new editor in chief in the past two months.

Why there are no leaks from “Mad Money”

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Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider writes about the lack of lacks about the content produced for “Mad Money,” the CNBC investing show hosted by Jim Cramer.

Weisenthal writes, “We’re here at the NYSE, where we just listened to Mad Money host and all around media guru Jim Cramer talk about his day, and what goes into Mad Money.

“There’s a lot of stuff that we’ll get into, but there was one thing that struck us particularly interesting: Why don’t any of Cramer’s recommendations ever leak out, given that the show is recorded right at 4 PM, and doesn’t air until later in the evening?

“He explained, only 5 people ever see the script, and then: ‘If I fear someone has leaked, I fire them.’ He might ask questions later, but there is ‘No due process.’

“Furthermore, anyone who calls in to ask a question is on mute, and can’t hear any of the show while they wait.”

Read more here.

WSJ names digital editor for markets

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Francesco Guerrera, the editor of the money and investing section of The Wall Street Journal, made the following staff announcement on Tuesday:

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Janet Paskin as Digital Editor, Markets.

In her new role, Janet will oversee and manage the new Markets’ Stream story and mobile application, as well as taking responsibility for driving online coverage by the Money & Investing Group.

A talented journalist with vast experience in both print and online, Janet has been the editor of Smartmoney.com and personal finance editor of WSJ.com for the past 18 months. During her tenure she led an overhaul of the look and feel of the SmartMoney website, adding new features and refreshing its design. The results have been excellent, with traffic to articles increasing more than 40% in 2011.

Before that, Janet worked as a reporter at SmartMoney magazine and Money magazine – honing skills first developed as a ferocious sports reporter in Long Island and Philadelphia.

Janet will co-report to Francesco and Raju and work very closely with our first-class online team that includes Brian Hershberg, the real-time deputy for the Markets desk; Stephen Grocer, M&I’S  Blogs Editor; and WSJ.com’s Kate Milani on the Hub.

Please join us in welcoming Janet to her new role.

Cramer visits Business Insider

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Jim Cramer, the host of “Mad Money” on CNBC, visited the newsroom of The Business Insider and talked with founder Henry Blodget and reporter Joe Weisenthal.

Photo courtesy of Ellis Hamburger of Business Insider.

CNBC makes changes to “Squawk Box,” “Squawk on the Street”

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The following announcement was sent by CNBC senior vice president Nik Deogun on Sunday:

In the world of business news, Squawk Box and Squawk on the Street are essential viewing for individual investors and hedge-fund managers, chief executives and small-business owners, politicians and policy makers. These programs routinely move markets with breaking news and penetrating interviews, using a mix of wisdom and wit to engage viewers.

That has been the driving force and spirit of Squawk Box since Mark Haines captained the original ship and guided the expansion of the Squawk franchise with the launch of Squawk on the Street more than five years ago.

With that spirit in mind, it’s time to introduce the next incarnation of Squawk.

I’m pleased to announce that Carl Quintanilla, Melissa Lee, Jim Cramer, Simon Hobbs and David Faber will now all contribute to Squawk on the Street weekday mornings.

Melissa and Carl will host from 9-11am, with Jim Cramer as a frequent contributor from 9-10am. Simon Hobbs, who has done a tremendous job on Squawk on the Street, will co-host the 10am hour every day with Melissa and Carl. David Faber will continue in his current role on Squawk on the Street with the “Faber Report.”

Melissa will continue to anchor Fast Money at 5pm, and Jim will keep hosting Mad Money w/Jim Cramer at 6pm.

Scott Wapner, who has done an excellent job with the Fast Money Halftime Report during this interim period, will host that program.

Matt Quayle will steer the course for both programs as Executive Producer. Finally, I’m announcing that Todd Bonin will move over from Squawk Box to become Supervising Producer of Squawk on the Street. Todd has done fantastic work with Squawk Box and I’m confident that he will team up with the tenacious and talented Jason Gewirtz to help take Squawk on the Street to the next level.

Please join me in congratulating everyone on their new assignments.

Cramer is the big bang of financial blogging

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Barry Ritholtz, commenting on the New York Times Magazine piece about CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, notes that a lot of business journalists owe their careers to him because of his co-founding of TheStreet.com.

Ritholtz writes, “You may not know this, but TheStreet.com was a factory that churned out award winning journalists and market beating fund managers like Hershey’s kisses. Josh Brown, once likened TheStreet.com to the ‘Motown Records of the Financial Web.’ They were the farm team for the world of financial reporting, where the media bigs came to look for the next hire.

“The number of people who came out of TSCM to become household names in financial reporting and asset management is quite astonishing: TheStreet.com alumni include Aaron Task (Yahoo Finance), Jesse Eisinger (WSJ/ProPublica) who just won a Pulitzer, Herb Greenberg (CNBC), James Altucher (FT/WSJ), Justin Lahart (WSJ), Paul Kedrosky (Bloomberg), Adam Lashinsky (Fortune), Alex Berenson (NYT), Simon Constable (WSJ), Dave Kansas (WSJ), Gail Griffin, (Barrons), John Edwards (WSJ) David Gaffen (WSJ), Lauuren LaCapra (Reuters), Colin Barr (Fortune), Tim Arango (NYT), Dagen McDowell (Fox), David Reilly (Bloomber/WSJ), Peter Eavis (WSJ). Fund managers like Doug Kass, Whitney Tilson, David Merkel, Jeff Matthews, Helene Meisler, Jon Markman, Todd Harrison, and the list goes on and on. I myself am a proud TSCM alumnus.

“I have on occasion criticized Jim for some position or another he has taken on sub-prime or housing or the Fed, but that comes with the territory. As much as people bash Cramer, consider this: He is the guy who first conceived of Democratizing financial research and reportage. Whatever money he made for clients as a hedge fund manager is far outweighed by his contribution to you, the modern investor.”

Read more here.