Tag Archives: Marketwatch

Business news sites gained traffic in August, yearly data strong

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Five business news sites were among the top 30 sites in terms of traffic gained in August, according to data from TNS Media.

BusinessWeek magazine saw a 21 percent gain to 5.7 million viewers from July. Its viewership is now up 52 percent for the past year. Only three other sites saw a bigger increase in traffic for the month.

TheStreet.com reported an 18 percent increase to 5.3 million visitors for August and has also seen a 53 percent increase in the past year. It was seventh overall among Web sites for August.

Marketwatch.com saw a 14 percent increase from July to August and had 5.5 million visitors last month. However, its viewership is off 27 percent in the past year.

Tech news site CNET.com reported an 11 percent increase in August traffic to 33.9 million visitors. Its visitors are up 7 percent in the past year. CNET is the only business news site in the top 50 among unique visitors.

PCWorld.com reported an 11 percent increase to 6.2 million visitors in August. Its visitors are up 28 percent in the past year.

As a whole, the business news category has grown 45.5 percent year over year, reaching 64.1 million unique visitors in August 2009.  Business magazines also made traction as a category, reaching 20.5 million sets of eyeballs in August 2009, a 7.9 percent increase from July of this year.

See all of the data here.

The pain from BusinessWeek

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Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman writes Tuesday about the pain being endured at McGraw-Hill from its ownership of struggling BusinessWeek.

Friedman writes, “Sure, the McGraw-Hill weekly financial-news magazine and Web site have a strong reputation. But McGraw-Hill put them on the block a few weeks ago, in a sign that the profit-fixated company may eventually want to stick to surer bets, such as its Standard & Poor’s entity.

“In good times, S&P essentially prints money, and McGraw-Hill’s textbook operation is an integral part of the business. Meanwhile BusinessWeek, like most major magazines, has been blindsided by the depth of the publishing industry’s prolonged advertising slump.

“McGraw-Hill has several options, none of which will bring smiles to the faces of worried BusinessWeek staffers. Indeed, it can try hard to find a buyer and unload its magazine foundation. Or McGraw-Hill can be adventurous (this is not a company well known for being daring) and make BusinessWeek an wholly online product. Worst of all, McGraw-Hill can ultimately do what Condé Nast did with Portfolio: kill it.”

Read more here.

PR and news under one Dow Jones roof

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I discovered today that in addition to owning The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch.com, Barron’s and Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones & Co. also has a public relations consulting business.

The business is called Dow Jones PR & Corporate Communications Solutions, and it provides analysis of media and social networks for organizations that want to know how a topic or an issue is being perceived.

This operation just signed a three-year contract with South African Tourism to help it present a better image during the 2010 World Cup, which will be played in South Africa, and afterward.

Here’s what makes me queasy about the whole situation: With the name Dow Jones on the operation, it gives the impression that it’s providing access to the top business journalists in the country. And the economic development surrounding the 2010 World Cup is obviously a story that Dow Jones journalists will cover.

Maybe I’m just overly paranoid, but I’ve never seen a news operation that had a side business in PR and marketing either. I don’t know of any U.S. magazines or newspapers that provide such work on the side for clients who could be covered by their journalists.

Thoughts?

UPDATE: I spoke with Robert Thibault, director of global public relations for Dow Jones, this evening. Here is what he had to say about the PR and corporate communications operation at the company. After hearing him explain it, I do feel better about the relationship.

“The product that South African Tourism is using is Dow Jones Insight, which is an electronic clipping service,” said Thibault. “The service allows clients to monitor, measure and analyze their coverage in maintsream media, Web sites and social media. What we do, is we assist a client like the South African Tourism board in developing a targeted search stream, so it captures what they want it to capture. And then we put the search results in context.

“That means different things to different clients. A client that makes computers might want to see how much coverage theyre getting versus Competitor A and B. It uses visualization technology to help a client understand.

“What we don’t do is operate a PR or marketing consulting firm in any way shape or form. We don’t provide clients with any advice on strategies or how to react to the coverage. We have an unyielding firewall from the rest of the organization. When you’re a client of Dow Jones Insight, that’s it. We provide impartial information on how you’re mentioned in the media.”

Who will be No. 1 at CNBC?

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Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Friday that the biggest decision for new CNBC senior vice president Jeremy Pink is to determine who will be its No. 1 anchor — Maria Bartiromo or Erin Burnett.

Friedman writes, “Pink will show his hand by deciding which of the network’s two very popular anchors will get the most plum assignments, the choicest CEO interviews and the lion’s share of the network’s marketing muscle.

“The question boils down to this: Who will be the face of CNBC? Will it be the no-frills, iconic Bartiromo, who has been the top anchor there for many years? Or, can the younger, breezier, fast-charging Burnett overtake her? CNBC prefers to believe that there is enough airtime and turf to accommodate both of its talented anchors.

“Bartiromo first achieved prominence in the media a decade ago as ‘The Money Honey.’ Owing to her perkiness, Burnett originally carved out a niche as a Bartiromo-lite entry before attracting an audience that likes her chatty approach.

“If Burnett became the No. 1 anchor at CNBC, it would send a signal to advertisers, staffers and viewers that the network favored her lighter style.”

Read more here.

Marshall Loeb turns 80

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Marshall Loeb, the former editor of Fortune and Money and now a columnist for Marketwatch.com, writes about his six-decade career Tuesday as he celebrates his 80th birthday.

Loeb writes, “Let me share with you what I think have been the most significant stories that I have been fortunate enough to cover in these past six decades. What strikes me when doing so is how humble people, often working alone, can rise from nowhere, gather some passionate followers and change the whole world.

“One of them is Nelson Mandela. He is the most important African who ever lived and he gave me the best interview I’ve ever had. I got it largely because I asked for it, at the right time.

“Freed from a South African jail after 27 years as a political prisoner, Mandela received me for an hour in his Johannesburg office. The interview was memorable for me because he was articulate, engaging, reassuring — and he had a message to deliver. If his Black African Congress party won the forthcoming national elections, Western business people, Mandela said, need not fear what a black government would bring to South Africa. Mandela made clear to me that he would not nationalize or expropriate their investments.”

Read more here. Here’s an interview I did with Loeb earlier this year.

Friedman: No biz magazine is safe

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Jon Friedman of Marketwatch writes Monday that the fact that McGraw-Hill is trying to sell BusinessWeek shows that no publication should be safe.

Friedman, a former BusinessWeek writer, writes, “No matter how glorious or storied your history might be, what matters now is your ability to sell ads in a prolonged downturn and capitalize on the Web. Under the stewardship of its online editor, John Byrne, BusinessWeek has tried mightily to show that it is up to date.

“Problem is, few people consider BusinessWeek to be in the forefront of innovation. The fact that it is a news magazine published every week reflects the uphill struggle it has in competing for attention against the Web and the 24/7 television and radio operations.

“BusinessWeek, like other magazines, has been losing ground to such titles as the Economist and, especially, the Week.

“The death of Conde Nast’s Portfolio a few months ago showed the fragility of the business-magazine space. The reports that BusinessWeek is on the block hammers the point home, again.”

Read more here.

Three of top 10 media events in past decade were biz journalism

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Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman, celebrating his 10th year as a media writer, compiles his list of the top 10 most intriguing events in the industry in the past decade, and three of them are business journalism related.

Here they are:

3. The acquisition of Dow Jones: News Corp. accomplished the unthinkable by scooping up the company that owned The Wall Street Journal and other media platforms. While many pundits initially recoiled in horror, the “new” Journal — both in print and online — is a snappy, wide-ranging operation that continues to put the news first. (News Corp. is also the parent of MarketWatch, the publisher of this column.)

9. The Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer smackdown: Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” dressed down Jim Cramer, the loud talker from CNBC, in the wake of the financial crisis. Fair or not, Stewart accused Cramer and CNBC of failing to educate viewers and relying on show-biz flourishes instead of solid information about the Wall Street meltdown.

10. The closure of Portfolio: The “Gigli” of magazines was the most-hyped launch in recent publishing history. But Conde Nast’s business magazine failed to bump Fortune, BusinessWeek and Forbes out of the picture and became a poster child of the media’s bitter recession.

Read more here.

What would Rukeyser do?

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Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman speculates Friday about how former television business journalist Louis Rukeyser, who died in 2006 at the age of 73, would have covered the current financial crisis.

Friedman writes, “Today, Rukeyser would have been just as popular as he was in his heyday. His time-honored approach would never go out of style with viewers.

“Michael Holland, a money manager in New York City who appeared many times on the show, told me on Thursday: ‘Lou would be viewing the news of today as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fodder for the show.’

“Holland reckons that Rukeyser especially would have fun with the publicity-hungry Washington political figures.”

Read more here. 

Friedman: Cramer back to old ways

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Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Wednesday that he believes CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer has been unaffected by the recent attacks to his program and the network.

Friedman writes, “For better or worse, Cramer is back to his pre-Stewart ways. If Stewart fretted that Cramer had helped turn the stock market into a casino, complete with show-biz flourishes, he might need to start worrying all over again.

“I respect Cramer’s popularity on CNBC. And I’ve always felt that he had turned out to be his own worst enemy because of the way he eagerly dumbs down his immense knowledge of finance. When Cramer writes about the stock market for New York magazine, there is no better or more knowledgeable Wall Street pundit around. He is that good.

“But when he turns into his Mr. Hyde persona on television, his brilliance gets lost in the noise.

“Cramer has sold his soul to the TV devil. It’s too bad.”

Read more here.

Dow Jones cuts future benefits

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Robert MacMillian of Reuters has posted a memo from Dow Jones & Co. CEO Les Hinton that explains how the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch and Dow Jones Newswires is cutting back on its benefits.

In the memo, Hinton states, “The Money Purchase Plan will be frozen as of July 3, 2009. The 401(k) Savings Plan will be enhanced. The net effect will be a lower rate of company contributions.

“The retiree healthcare subsidy will be curtailed for most employees effective Jan. 1, 2010. Current retirees or those employees who on Jan. 1, 2010, will be age 50 with at least 5 years of service or have 20 years of service regardless of age will continue to be eligible for a subsidy in a revised retiree healthcare plan.

“More details about the benefit program changes can be found here.

“The new retirement plans will apply to all non-IAPE* staff in the U.S. We intend to seek the same programs when we enter collective-bargaining negotiations with IAPE this year.”

Read more here.