Tag Archives: Job changes
by Chris Roush
The news that Reuters business journalist Carrick Mollenkamp, who many consider to be a dogged and thorough reporter during his two decades in business reporting, had left journalism for a job at a hedge fund earlier this month took some people by surprise.
It should not have.
Hedge funds are advertising that they want to hire business journalists to come work for them on journalism job websites. They’re starting their own websites to provide content to other hedge funders. And they’re using the turmoil in the media industry to pick off some of the best people in business journalism to research companies, paying them much more than what they were making writing earnings stories and company trend pieces.
Why? Business reporters have the required skills to dig into a company and find out what’s going on.
Consider the case of Jim McNair, a former business journalist with the Cincinnati Enquirer and Miami Herald. He left the Enquirer in 2007 and went to work for a New York City hedge fund that he is contractually forbidden to identify. He is a researcher for them, working with a dozen analysts.
“The work is very similar to the front-end work of business journalism,” said McNair in an email to Talking Biz News. “I run companies and their top executives through the gauntlet of litigation checks, regulatory agency actions, FOIA requests, and trade press and blog coverage, then summarize findings for the financial analysts to digest. On occasion, I’ll suggest companies for possible investment positions, but I’m mainly on board to dig up publicly available information that could have a material impact on a company’s stock price.”
McNair works out of his home in Cincinnati. But he’s not alone. Talking Biz News found at least a dozen former business journalists working at hedge funds or investment companies in the past 24 hours.
Here are some examples:
- Wall Street Journal editor and researcher Jim Oberman left the business newspaper in October to work for a job in research at a new hedge fund, Aravt Global LLC.
- Steve Schurr is a former Financial Times reporter who is now an analyst with Brahman Capital. He previously worked for legendary hedge fund manager Jim Kynikos.
- David Poppe is a former Miami Herald reporter who now manages the Sequoia Fund for Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb in New York.
- Raphael Lewis, a former transportation beat reporter for the Boston Globe, joined North Run Capital hedge fund in Boston in 2007 and works there as a research analyst.
- Mara Der Hovanesian, a former Businessweek reporter, works for Vontobel Asset Management as a senior research analyst, along with former Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Berner.
Of course, if the hedge fund job doesn’t work out, they can always return to business journalism. Cory Johnson of Bloomberg Television joined its West Coast show after running a hedge fund. Of course, before he ran a hedge fund, he was a reporter for TheStreet.com and CNBC.
And Ron Insana returned to CNBC after leaving the business news network in 2008 to run a hedge fund. His foray into investing failed.
by Chris Roush
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.
by Chris Roush
Deborah Charles, a general assignment reporter for Reuters in its Washington bureau, announced Wednesday that she was leaving after 24 years with the wire service.
Charles wrote to her colleagues:
Yes, it’s yet another goodbye letter. I will try to keep it short but after nearly 24 years at Reuters I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye and thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve met and worked with around the world.
When I first walked into a Reuters newsroom in Buenos Aires in 1989, I had no idea I would get a job with the news agency. I definitely didn’t think I would end up traveling the world, would cover five Olympics and be posted in countries across four different continents.
As many of my esteemed colleagues before me have said, the experiences I have had thanks to Reuters have been life-altering. Some of the highlights include being in Rangoon for Aung San Suu Kyi’s first public appearance and interviews following her initial release from house arrest; covering fighting in Kosovo before most of the world knew about it and learning how to stay safe and sane in a war zone from one of the best – Kurt Schork. Those were the days that meant so much to me as a journalist – I knew if I wasn’t there to tell the story perhaps no one in the world would ever know about the fighting, the refugees, the harsh treatment of the people in Kosovo.
I’ve also been lucky enough to travel with and cover three different U.S. presidents and even had President George W. Bush make a big deal of signing a cast I got on my arm after falling while running from the motorcade at the genocide memorial in Rwanda. He even made a couple African leaders sign it too.
The opportunity to write a four story, multi-media package “Living with cancer” is perhaps the most lasting memory I have from my Reuters career. Paul Holmes encouraged me to turn the initial idea of writing one story into a package of first-person stories, which were at first hard to write but then almost cathartic as I went through the end of my chemo treatment and tried to return to normal. With the photo essay by Jim Bourg and the idea of the talented dot-com team to add video clips and links of key breast cancer websites, it was a complete, informative package that landed on numerous cancer websites. I had more positive feedback from that package than anything else I worked on throughout my career.
It’s been a great ride but now time to move on to something totally different. Thanks so much to my Reuters colleagues around the world for your friendship and support over the years.
by Chris Roush
Health policy expert and longtime Forbes contributor Avik Roy has been hired as opinion editor for Forbes, starting in January 2014.
He will direct a sweeping expansion of the company’s coverage of public policy and politics. To support this effort, Forbes plans to add an additional 75 to 100 contributors to its current roster of 1,200 contributing writers.
“For nearly 100 years, Forbes has been the champion of entrepreneurs,” Roy said in a statement. “Entrepreneurs have always understood the value of freedom and free markets, but they also share a passion for making the world a better place. I want to bring Forbes’ entrepreneurial vigor to opinion writing, by fostering a creative conservatism that is committed to expanding opportunity for those who least have it.”
Roy is currently editor and principal author of The Apothecary, the influential Forbes blog on health care policy and entitlement reform. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes calls The Apothecary “one of the best takes from conservatives on that set of issues.” Ezra Klein of the Washington Post calls The Apothecary one of the few “blogs I disagree with [that] I check daily.” Even the New York Times’ Paul Krugman says that “Roy is about as good as you get in this stuff: his tone is even, he actually knows something.”
In addition to his work at Forbes, Roy is also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. In 2012, he served as a health care policy adviser to Mitt Romney. He is a frequent guest on television news programs, including appearances on Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, PBS, and HBO. Roy is a columnist for National Review Online, and his work has also appeared in The Atlantic, USA Today, National Affairs, and The American Spectator, among other publications. Roy is the author of “How Medicaid Fails the Poor,” published in October by Encounter Books.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Bloomberg Media has hired GE marketing executive Paul Marcum as head of global digital innovation. He will start Jan. 13.
Brian Morrissey of Digiday.com writes, “Marcum, a three-year veteran of GE, will join Bloomberg on Jan. 13 as its head of global digital innovation, a newly created position that reports to Smith. GE painted the move as a sign Smith will look outside other media companies in order to find talent to help transform Bloomberg Media. At GE, Marcum was director of global digital marketing and programming. He helped fuel GE’s forward-looking, content-focused digital strategy. Marcum was named to Ad Age’s Creativity 50 last year, along with colleagues Linda Boff and Katrina Craigwell. Prior to joining GE, he was CEO of video aggregator GenMouse and an exec at Yahoo. Marcum also has experience on the agency side with a stint at Modem Media and Hal Riney early in his career.
“In a memo to Bloomberg staff, Smith said Marcum would ‘devise and implement digital product and commerce strategies across all platforms.’
“Smith, who is credited for leading the transformation of Atlantic Media, joined Bloomberg in September. He has embarked on a 100-day review of the company’s strategy and plans to begin implementation of a new plan for the company. In a memo to the Bloomberg staff in August, Smith said that a modern media company would need to increase its focus on attracting and retaining top talent.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Ann Zimmerman, a longtime Wall Street Journal reporter who had recently worked out of the Dallas bureau, has left the newspaper.
Zimmerman confirmed her depature on Twitter. She had a byline in the paper as recently as Dec. 6. She recently covered the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Zimmerman covered Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for The Journal. She previously wrote about retail, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other big box stores.
She previously had worked for the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald from 1981 to 1991. She also worked for the Dallas Observer. Zimmerman is a 1977 graduate of Lehigh University, where she was editor in chief of the yearbook.
by Chris Roush
Carrick Mollenkamp, who had joined the Wall Street team of Reuters in early 2012, has left the news organization for a job at at hedge fund.
Before joining Reuters, Mollenkamp had spent 14 years at The Wall Street Journal. He joined the Journal in November 1997 and covered financial institutions. He was considered one of its top reporters.
In March 2009, Mollenkamp and a team of reporters received two awards. The first came from the New York Newspaper Publishers Association in the category of distinguished investigative business reporting for the article: “Lehman’s demise: The shock heard round the world.” The second award came from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and was in the breaking news category for coverage of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
In May 2008, Mollenkamp, along with a team of Journal reporters, received an award from the New York Press Club in the business category for “Mortgage Meltdown on Wall Street.” In 2008 Mollenkamp also received awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the New York Newspaper Publishers Association.
In April 2004, Mollenkamp, along with Journal colleagues David Reilly and Alessandra Galloni, won the Overseas Press Club’s Malcolm Forbes Award for coverage of the scandal at Parmalat SpA. In July 2003, Mollenkamp, along with fellow Journal reporters Rebecca Blumenstein, Gregory Zuckerman, Jared Sandberg, Shawn Young, Susan Pulliam and Deborah Solomon won a Gerald Loeb Award in deadline writing for “WorldCom’s Whirlwind Demise.”
Mollenkamp began his journalism career as a clerk with the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch. He has worked for the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal, Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, N.C., the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer and Bloomberg News. While at Bloomberg, he and three colleagues, wrote “The People v. Big Tobacco,” a book about tobacco litigation.
by Chris Roush
Jenny Aldridge has joined the Houston Business Journal and will take over coverage of the real estate and construction sectors.
Managing editor Giselle Greenwood writes, “Aldridge previously served as managing editor of Total Landscape Care magazine, a national business magazine based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., geared toward the landscaping industry. She also was an adjunct instructor of journalism at the University of Alabama.
“Her previous stints include senior writer/editor for the national headquarters of the American Red Cross and reporter at a South Carolina paper, Coastal Observer.
“‘We are excited about Jenny’s level of reporting and editing experience and look forward to continuing HBJ’s record of award-winning journalism,’ said Candace Beeke, HBJ editor-in-chief.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Wall Street Journal technology editor Jonathan Krim sent out the following announcement to the staff on Monday:
We are delighted to announce that our own Geoff Fowler is named personal technology columnist/reviewer of the Wall Street Journal. Geoff will be joined by Joanna Stern as personal tech columnist/reviewer with an emphasis on video. Stern joins us from ABC News, where she holds a similar position.
Geoff and Joanna will be the nucleus of an expanded, multi-platform personal-technology group that will take us to new heights in helping readers choose and understand the vast array of digital products shaping our lives. Thanks to Walt Mossberg, the Journal has been the leader in this arena for more than two decades. This dynamic team will enhance that position.
Joining Geoff and Joanna will be Wilson Rothman, currently technology and science editor of NBC News Digital, who will take the position of personal technology editor, overseeing the group. Nathan-Olivarez Giles, who recently joined us, will serve as personal-tech news blogger and web producer.
More details with full and fun biographies of Geoff, Joanna, Wilson and Nathan are on our blog post here announcing the moves. Please join us in welcoming and congratulating them.
by Chris Roush
Zunaira Zaki has been named senior business editor and producer of specialized units at ABC News
She will report to Eric Avram, who is senior executive producer of division-wide interviews and oversees the medical, business and law and justice teams.
A 10-year veteran of ABC News, Zaki has played a leading role in virtually all of its business coverage.
She has also has covered major breaking news stories from Newtown, and the Boston Marathon bombing, the 2005 London bombings, the Gulf Oil Spill, the Michael Jackson investigation, Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, Hurricane Sandy and the George Zimmerman trial.
She traveled to Pakistan for Diane Sawyer’s Malala special and for ABC News’ Murrow Award-winning coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death.
Zaki is a Boston University graduate.