Tag Archives: Marketwatch
In the memo, Hinton states, “Therefore, as we continue to look for further cost efficiencies, I have decided to implement a one-year freeze on salaries. The freeze applies across the board (the only exceptions are when collective bargaining agreements or statutory obligations require). We will seek an equivalent freeze for union-represented staff as we conduct negotiations for successor collective-bargaining agreements going forward.
“I know you are all well aware that the uncertainty of the broader economy touches all our businesses. We don’t know how profound the problems will be, or how long they will last. The only prudent course is to continue managing all expenses aggressively until we can see more clearly where we are headed. The savings we capture by forgoing raises will mitigate future possible job cuts and help support and sustain our products and brands.
“I know this isn’t easy. I know you’ve worked hard this past year under difficult conditions. I know without your talent, diligence and perseverance, we wouldn’t have achieved all we did in 2008.”
Read more here.
Paul Farrell of Marketwatch writes that stock analysts and others are already using the business media to promote the market in the current economic turmoil.
Farrell writes, “A recent USA Today report headlined: ’5 Stock Experts Foresee 2009 Rebound’ proves this fundamental principle: ‘Nearly all expect double-digit percentage gains, despite another year of sharp swings. The most bullish projections call for a 24% gain from current levels.’ Yes, a 24% rally for 2009. Yikes, sounds more like another report in The Onion, not something in USA Today.
“Worse yet, last January those same banks ‘were also bullish heading into 2008.’ Folks, you’d be a fool to believe them. Yet they keep conning us because they know many Americans will buy into the scam again.”
Read more here.
Friedman writes, “One of Sloan’s best pieces was published back in March and entitled ‘Don’t expect another bull market.’
“Journalists everywhere should note that Sloan doesn’t get his points across with fancy writing. If anything, he reflects Main Street more than Wall Street in his simple, straight-forward imagery:
“‘Hello? Eight years of dead money in the broad stock market? How can that be, given that Ibbotson Associates says the S&P has returned an average of 10.3% a year, compounded, since 1926? Think of it as a six-foot man drowning in a pond with an average water level of six inches — if you step in at the wrong place, the water can be eight feet deep.’
“Sloan reminds me of a veteran baseball pitcher who gets the batters out by drawing on his ample knowledge and experience, not because he has the best fastball in the league.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Marketwatch has had some of the best reporting about disgraced hedge fund manager Bernard Madoff in the past 10 days.
In particular, a column by Robert PowellÂ posted Monday about how his wife lost her 401(k) and her job due to the failure of Madoff’s company was poignant.
But MarketWatch hasn’t disclosed that one of its columnists, chief economist Irwin Kellner, is one of Madoff’s clients who has lost money even though it’s been reported elsewhere. Kellner has filed suit against Madoff and his company.
I asked David Callaway, Marketwatch’s editor in chief, why that’s the case.
Callaway replied via e-mail, “No real discussion or decision about it, to be honest. If we do a story about the list of victims, we’d certainly include him, perhaps somewhere between Spielberg and Zuckerman.”
Callaway later stated, “If Irwin felt compelled to write about it, we’d be happy to take a look. But his brief is really economics, where Powell’s topic is personal finance and individual asset management, which ties in much closer with the scandal.”
I’ll accept Callaway’s rationale, but I’m still uneasy that Marketwatch hasn’t disclosed that one of its “name” columnists has a vested interest in how the Madoff case plays out. In business journalism, it’s always safe to err on the side of caution and disclose as much as possible.
To Callaway’s credit, he notes how aggressive Marketwatch has been in covering the case. He stated, “Powell’s piece was so unique and personal, and early on in the breaking scandal, that it really covered the victims angle for us in a way that competitors didn’t have, so we just linked to WSJ’s story list of victims and moved on to other stuff, such as this excellent piece last night by Alistair Barr on how Madoff’s arrangements with hedge funds worked and how it might have exploded ten years ago.”
CNBC.comÂ ranks No. 1 in page view growth this year, with aÂ 662 percentÂ increase from January to October, according to Comscore’s ranking of 87 of the largest business and financial news sites in the United States.
In addition,Â visitors to CNBC.com on average spent over 2 hours on the site in October while visitors to the No. 2 ranked site, Bloomberg News, for minutes per visitor in the business and finance category spent only 47.9 minutes on average on the site, according to Comscore.
Comscore recorded 2.14 million visitors to the CNBC site in October. Those visitors viewed 117.5 million pages.
Not only did CNBC.com achieveÂ its highest monthly uniques ever but also the highest proportion of affluent visitors in the last 15 months, according to Comscore. Forty-six percent of CNBC.com visitors had incomes above $100,000, up from 36 percentÂ in September.
In addition, the proportion of visitors with incomes above $150,000 increased on CNBC.com, according to Nielsen, but declined on Bloomberg, Fox Business, MarketWatch, and Yahoo! Finance.
CNBC.comâ€™s user base also grew more educated in October with the proportion of visitors with post-graduate degrees rising to 37 percent, exceeding Bloomberg (31 percent), MarketWatch (28 percent), Yahoo! Finance (23 percent), and Fox Business (14 percent).
Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Friday about how Conde Nast Portfolio, which recently announced it was cutting its issues per year from 12 to 10, can be saved.
Friedman writes, “Portfolio must produce — and soon — at least one killer story or cover design to show progress and take the pressure off its highly public woes. It needs to come up with a story with mammoth water-cooler appeal so everyone will start talking about ‘that great story in Portfolio,’ and not the layoffs or the start-up snafus or the dissension.
“Unfortunately, when I think of Portfolio, the piece that leaps to mind is what I regarded as a hatchet job about George Steinbrenner, the now-feeble New York Yankees owner who was virtually ambushed by one of Portfolio’s writers.
“The magazine has to work harder on concocting memorable, thematic covers. New York and Time magazines have been especially adept in recent years at publishing thought-provoking covers that remind me of some of the most evocative work of fabled magazine designer George Lois.”
Read more here.
Friedman writes, “The Economist has been aggressively trying out new ideas. Rossi said the innovation of offering subscribers three-year subscriptions (as opposed to the much smaller time frames generally employed in magazine publishing) has worked ‘fantastically well. This enables us to serve our core audience.’
“It approaches its audience in a different way, too. ‘The underlying problem in magazine publishing is that many books think that the readers are less valuable than the advertisers,’ Rossi said. See related story.
“The London-based Economist has flourished in the U.S. by focusing on building its brand in this country. The brain trust believes that the public will pay a premium price for something that it considers to be a premium product. The Economist carries a hefty price tag of $6.99 an issue, but it offers no apologies while appreciating the loyalty of its ‘passionate, engaged’ readers.”
“‘Once you’ve built a brand, you can put your prices up,’ Rossi said. The price of a single copy of a magazine ‘should be at the top of the range, not the bottom.’”
Read more here.
John Dvorak of Marketwatch assesses citizen journalism in light of the events of last week, when someone posted a false report on iReport.com that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a heart attack, which led to a drop in its stock price.
Dvorak writes, “The false-rumor model for stock-market manipulation is nothing new, but since the advent of the Internet it’s grown more likely to have a big impact on a big stock, since a rumor can spread across the Net rather quickly and cause panic.
“I suspect that from this we will see a re-evaluation of the idea of so-called citizen journalists, with a lot of criticism coming their way. My advice: Get over it. We’re stuck with what we have.
“We are not going to be able to control bad reporting, disinformation, hoaxes and lies in this Internet age. It’s like a bad forest fire; it can be contained but not controlled.
“And the likelihood of this sort of thing’s being an everyday occurrence is fairly low.”
Read more here.
Robert Thomson, the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and editor in chief of Dow Jones & Co., sent a note to the company’s journalists on Wednesday lauding them for their work in covering the economic crisis.
Fishbowl DC Patrick Gavin posted the memo on Wednesday.
It read: “Dear All, the financial crisis coverage across the Newswires, the newspaper, wsj.com and Marketwatch has been extraordinary in its breadth and quality. Sales of the paper are surging, we have just had a record month for both wsj.com (21.7 million visitors) and Marketwatch (13.8 million visitors), and the Newswires coverage has provided a global, scoop-laden narrative of the unfolding drama.
“Many, many people have worked extremely long hours for the cause and those efforts are being rewarded with an audience whose size and reach is unprecedented in the history of Dow Jones and of business journalism.”
Brimelow writes, “How did I become rich and famous while toiling as a wage slave in the impecunious trade of financial journalism? When my grandchildren ask this question, I will be able to reply: by writing two articles that prevented the financial meltdown, and likely recession, of 2008.
“I really did co-write the first one, for Forbes magazine on Jan. 4, 1993. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston had just published a study purporting to prove definitively that mortgage lenders were discriminating against minorities, the hot cause of the day.
“But when my brilliant co-author, Leslie Spencer, asked the Boston Fed’s research director, Alicia H. Munnell, what minority default rates were, she said proudly that census tract data showed that they were equal to whites. When Leslie pointed out that this actually proved there was no discrimination, because the lenders had somehow weeded out the credit risks down to the same acceptable level, Munnell was dumbfounded and had to concede (on tape) that she did not, in fact, have definitive proof of discrimination at all.
“We had discovered a fundamental technical flaw. We sat back and waited for our Pulitzer Prizes.”
Read more here.