Tag Archives: Marketwatch
Friedman writes, “Fox Business, launched in October 2007, has yet to make a lasting impression on American TV-watchers. Its goal for now is to reach more households and establish a brand.
“Bloomberg TV is appreciated by fans who want their news straightforward and utterly unadorned. But overshadowed by CNBC’s noisy presentation, Bloomberg has been invisible in the big picture, possessing about as much buzz as an Ivy League basketball team competing during March Madness.
“But Bloomberg has recently been making news of its own. The company is trying hard to be a stronger player in television news. It hired Andrew Lack, who ran NBC News, to lead the network and added David Rhodes, formerly a news executive at the Fox News Channel, indicating that Bloomberg wants to be more accessible to TV audiences.
“For its part, CNBC’s ratings have declined since Stewart blasted CNBC on his show, as Portfolio.com pointed out on March 13.”
Read more here.
Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Friday that business news network CNBC may have made a major strategy mistake by believing that its viewers would value the opinions of its anchors and reporters in a down market.
Friedman writes, “But in a prolonged bear market, like this one, CNBC’s audience is angry. It wants answers.
“To the public’s dismay, CNBC often has looked like its mission was to make the news — however grim it might be — look like entertainment. The formula draws heavily on its slew of chatty hosts who would seem comfortable on ESPN’s SportsCenter shooting the breeze about last night’s basketball scores.
“But CNBC has a big problem. Its upbeat approach has served it well in creating a buzz and building an audience. Now that millions of people have lost homes and jobs, the national mood calls for the leading financial network to change its strategy and reflect the gloomy sentiment.
“If CNBC does shift its course, though, it risks losing the people who tune in expecting to see loud, chatty anchors. The network must find a way to make sobering news seem appealing.”
Read more here.
Friedman writes, “CNBC has much to answer for and be embarrassed about. The network has gone overboard in its effort to dumb down business news for the masses.
“CNBC should know better by now and have a keener understanding of what its audience needs. After so many once-hot technology stocks crashed and burned a decade ago, CNBC’s personalities were castigated for having acted as cheerleaders for the shooting stars of the equities market.
“It has been a few weeks since Santelli freaked out and blasted Obama on the air. Even if the wounds aren’t quite fresh, his unprofessional behavior still makes you wonder: What the heck was he thinking?
“If Santelli truly believed passionately in what he was saying, he owed his colleagues — and his employer — a better turn. Then again, who am I kidding? CNBC seems to want, if not prefer, its on-air “talent” to raise the theatrics level as high as it can go.”
Read more here.
Jon Friedman of Marketwatch writes Wednesday about how two-year-old business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio appears to be clicking on all cylinders with its big-picture stories about the fall of Wall Street.
Friedman writes, “It has found its calling and voice as one of the most dogged chroniclers of the meltdown of the financial system. In fact, no magazine has done a better job of reporting, explaining and analyzing the U.S. financial crisis than Portfolio.
“In the March issue, Jesse Eisinger‘s column, ‘The Private Equity Meltdown Myth,’ and John Cassidy‘s piece, ‘Showing the Money’ added insight into the coverage of the Wall Street collapse.
“Back in May 2007, months before the collapse of Bear Stearns marked the start of the nation’s financial debacle, Eisinger wrote ‘The $300 Trillion Time Bomb.’ Cassidy and Michael Lewis — best known as the author of ‘Liar’s Poker’ and ‘Moneyball’ — have contributed keen understanding of the markets. Portfolio has found a consistency in its contents, but it has done its best work by chronicling Wall Street.”
Read more here.
Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Monday that the decision by CNBC to part ways with senior vice president Jonathan Wald, who apparently wanted more money, draws a line in the sand for future pay during the current economy.
Friedman writes, “But for the other folks in the media, even those who appear in front of the TV camera, life probably won’t be the same as the recession deepens.
“Meanwhile, the journalists should have no illusions, either. If CNBC could turn its back on its top news official, who’s to say it wouldn’t do the same with anyone at the network not named Maria Bartiromo.
“To take the theory a bit further, it’s likely to assume that media companies — like all industries — will hold the lines on compensation for everyone except the top-draw stars at the networks, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites.”
Read more here.
Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Barron’s and Marketwatch,Â said Friday that it would seek a salaryÂ freeze for union-represented staff asÂ it conducts negotiations for successor collective-bargaining agreements going forward.
The measure was one of many outlined by the company in its attempts to lower its expenses in the future. The company said it had been successful in cutting $100 million in costs in its first year under News Corp. ownership, and expected to realize an additional $40 million of annual savings in the fiscal year ending June 2010.
Dow Jones said those cost cuts have come from a variety of measures, including:
Sharing services across the organization by consolidating common services with sister News Corp. companies and common functions across Dow Jones businesses. Several corporate functions such as internal audits, tax and treasury services have been reduced as a result of the integration with News Corp. Similarly, cooperation between the Journal and the New York Post in New York and The Wall Street Journal Europe and the newspapers of News International in London has resulted in solid savings.
Optimizing global footprint by leveraging News Corp. offices to consolidate office space, especially in major media hubs such as New York and London, closing smaller offices, renegotiating leases, subleasing excess capacity at existing locations and expanding the “work anywhere” program.
Outsourcing certain functions in print production, IT infrastructure and HR benefits administration as well as select call center operations. For example, Dow Jones entered into contract printing agreements with the Denver Newspaper Agency and the Chicago Tribune.
So far, three of 17 production facilities have been closed and discussions are ongoing for similar regional partnerships for printing and delivery of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s in other regions. In one such partnership, Dow Jones is now printing the Boston Herald, making further profitable use of its printing capacity.
Read more here.
Murdoch stated, “Over the past year, the Wall Street Journal has added new pages and launched a luxury magazine that has attracted 30 new advertisers for the franchise. We have also revamped our website, developed mobile application and upwardly revised our pricing policy. I should say strongly revising our pricing policy.
“At the same time we realized more than $100 million in cost savings since acquiring Dow Jones last December and continue throughout the coming months. Today, the Wall Street Journal is the only major newspaper to grow its individual page circulation year-over-year, up 2.4%, while nearly every other newspaper in the country is experiencing declines.
“And the most recent ABC reporting period, the Weekend Journal became the country’s biggest selling weekend newspaper in individually paid sales, surpassing The Sunday New York Times for the first time, and the Wall Street Journal digital network, which includes WSJ.com, MarketWatch.com, Barrons.com, AllThingsD.com has increased visitor traffic by 76% over the past year.”
Read the entire transcript here.
Friedman writes, “To compete effectively with CNBC and Fox Business, Lack’s focus likely will be to upgrade Bloomberg’s performance during the critical early-morning hours leading up to the opening bell.
“But it’s unclear whether Lack will elect to concentrate on building or buying talent at Bloomberg. He could go the cheaper route of trying to find a diamond in the rough and praying that he or she can attract a sizable audience. (When I was a reporter at Bloomberg, the company sent out a ‘blast’ email to its print-journalism employees, inviting them to try out for on-air positions on Bloomberg Television).
Or, Lack can attempt to recruit the best and the brightest at rival networks, a process that will be very expensive — and possibly impractical — during a recession. Bloomberg will have a challenge of showing growth in the terminal-leasing business at a time when the spending by the ever-shrinking Wall Street community is contracting dramatically.
Read more here.
The speed with which business news and information can now be delivered to readers has been the biggest change in business journalism in the past 50 years, says Marshall Loeb, the former managing editor of Money and Fortune magazines.
“When you see the stuff coming on to the screen, minute after minute after minute, the great volume of coverage, the incredible speed, just the timing of so many stories,” says Loeb. “That overall change has been spectacular. It has also led to all of the layoffs and squeezes in the present moment.
“Obviously, the quality of the journalism has also improved, and there are more people who are interested in business journalism,” adds Loeb. “In the mid 1950s and 1960s, they were financial professionals. Over the years, there has been this evolution that weâ€™re all interested in it because of jobs, unemployment 401(k)s, IRAs, etc.”
Loeb continues to write a column for Marketwatch even though he has been a professional journalist since 1952 and is nearly 80 years old. When asked why, he replied, “Because it’s there.”
“It sure beats the hell out of sitting around suburban New York and reading section three of the New York Times,” says Loeb. “Some people I know of my generation are really delighted to stay at home and read a lot of books, go to the theater and movies. I would like to be able, as long as I can, do something in journalism to stretch my mind and to make a contribution, perhaps, share some ideas with younger colleagues. I chose to challenge myself in the world of journalism.”
Read the entire interview with Loeb here.
Kafka writes, “The real one should launch in mid-March, says Greg Mason, who came to CBS via CNET and is overseeing the operation. Heâ€™s hired Eric Schurenberg, the former managing editor of Time Warnerâ€™s (TWX) Money magazine, to handle the editorial, which will focus on personal finance rather than general business news.
“Mason is hiring additional folks in advance of the launch, including on-air talent; he wouldnâ€™t divulge total staff size but I played the higher/lower game with him and I get the sense there will be something like a dozen people hired for the site.
“Obviously, itâ€™s an interesting time to be launching a finance-oriented site, and more on that in a minute. But whatâ€™s also interesting about MoneyWatch is that itâ€™s a project dreamed up after CBS (CBS) bought CNET last summer for $1.8 billion. And itâ€™s the first significant example of the broadcast network and the Web site integrating their operations, at least on the content side.”
Read more here.