Tag Archives: News event
The St. Petersburg Times’ weekend financial pages will have a different look next Saturday and Sunday that the paper hopes will serve readers better, according to an announcement in this Saturday’s apper.
The weekly mutual fund listings will move from Sunday to Saturday, a day earlier, where they will appear along with the weekly stock listings.
A new weekly income report will make its debut in Sunday’s business section. That report will include money market mutual fund listings, high-yielding bank CDs and money market accounts, New York and American Stock Exchange bonds and the weekly Florida bond fund report.
There was no indication that the stock listings were being cut or changed.
Rocky Mountain News business editor Rob Reuteman, who is a SABEW board member, has a nice round-up of the ethical discussion surrounding using short sellers as sources from last weekend’s Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ annual conference in his Saturday column.
Reuteman’s analysis is that SEC Chairman Christopher Cox tried to suck up to business journalists during his speech and later presentation. But he also noted that there are ethical considerations when using short sellers.
This whole issue of business journalists using short sellers as anonymous sources for negative information about companies has come to the forefront of the discussion in the wake of the SEC issuing subpoenas to business journalists, including MarketWatch’s Herb Greenberg, as part of an investigation into some hedge funds, to determine whether such investors were manipulating the market. Some people have criticized the reporters for using such sources, although they don’t seem to criticize reporters when they use sources who are bullish about the stocks they’re writing about.
Wrote Reuteman, “At issue, of course, is the ‘dilemma of the evil but truthful source,’ said Ed Wasserman, a professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University, who spoke about the Overstock case at a separate panel on ethics. ‘They tip you, hoping they will make money off something you publish, and their gain will be someone else’s loss.’
“Panel moderator Mike Kandel, founding financial editor at CNN, said, ‘Everyone has an angle. There are very few disinterested observers who know what’s going on. Let readers decide.’
“Panelist Steve Andreder, a former financial columnist at Barron’s, said, ‘Fraud is only detectable in two ways. Either someone tells you about it or you get lucky.’”
Read more here.
Joe Garofili of the San Francisco Chronicle has a nice story in this morning’s newspaper about how the sale of the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times from Knight Ridder to McClatchy to MediaNews all in the span of weeks is symblomatic of the changes occurring in the media world. One of the effects, he notes, is how people get their business news and information.
Garofili writes, “For years the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times tried to foster a sense of community among people who lived within a delivery-truck’s drive of their newsrooms. They created identities based on Silicon Valley life (the Mercury News) and suburban news and prep sports (the Times).
“When the tech boom electrified Silicon Valley, the Mercury’s business section boomed with it. Former business editor Peter Hillan expanded his section from 12 reporters in 1992 to nearly 70 when he left in 2000.
Twenty years ago, Paul Saffo, the Palo Alto futurist, would make a beeline for the Mercury News on the day it carried a recap of Silicon Valley’s latest venture capital deals. Everybody in the valley did. “But now,” Saffo said, “there’s myriad places to get that information.”
Read more here. Where consumers get that information in the future, I believe, will determine the success or failure of newspapers and other media forms. As journalists, we need to push our media outlets in new directions.
Marek Fuchs, who writes the Business Press Maven column at TheStreet.com, has his own take on the influence that Louis Rukeyser had on business journalism.
Fuchs writes, “His show, ‘Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser’ ran for three decades on PBS and influenced much of the good and a little of the bad in the modern business press.
“A lot of the ways investors understand and misread the market through what they read and watch about the markets is to Rukeyser’s everlasting credit. Or fault.
“For starters, Rukeyser was one of the first to understand that business news could appeal to a wide audience and one of the few to sense that humor could (in fact, should) go hand in hand with market news. He was dealing with the topics of big money, big egos and crowd thought — all the stuff, in the end, of human frailty and comedy.
“Sure, a good number of his puns were groaners, but the point was the honest attempt at levity. And that levity helped demystify high finance.
“Don’t forget, too, that at a time before computers and air travel carried Wall Street far beyond the canyons of lower Manhattan, Rukeyser was looking out at it all from Maryland. Any industry, especially Wall Street, can turn into an echo chamber of thought, and Rukeyser understood that distance brought perspective, something more business journalists should see.”
Read more here, as well as Fuchs’ take on the Maria Bartiromo-Ben Bernanke tete-a-tete last weekend.
Wire reports from Russia are reporting on Friday that three men on trial for the murder of former Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov have been acquitted.
A Russian wire service reported, “‘The jury acquitted our clients by a majority vote,’ defense lawyer Ruslan Khasanov said. ‘I am happy that justice has finally triumphed in Russia.’
“The acquitted were released from custody after the verdict was handed down. Prosecutors said they would appeal the decision
“Prosecutors in the case claimed Kazbek Dukuzov, Musa Vakhayev and notary Fail Sadretdinov – all three ethnic Chechens – gunned down Klebnikov on July 9, 2004, on the orders of Chechen businessman Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, who wanted revenge after Khlebnikov’s critical book ‘Conversations with a Barbarian’ featured him as the central figure.”
Read more here.
Another Russian wire service report noted, “The family of Paul Klebnikov, the editor of Forbes Russia magazine killed two years ago in Moscow, said Friday they respected a jury decision to acquit three defendants of his murder.
“‘We agree with the ruling and are not going to appeal the verdict at all,’ family lawyer Larisa Maslennikova said.
“‘Michael Klebnikov, the brother of the late [journalist], has been informed about the acquittal,’ she said. ‘He took the news like a civilized man. He respects the court decision.’”
A Reuters story is here.
I talked in the past day to two people in business journalism on TV whose careers were influenced by Louis Rukeyser, the former “Wall Street Week” host who died earlier this week. Here are their comments:
Consuelo Mack, whose show “WealthTrack” airs on Friday nights, and who guest hosted for Rukeyser when his show was on CNBC: “He was a pioneer in business journalism on television. He brought Wall Street to Main Street in a very entertaining fashion. He was the only business news that most Americans heard on a weekly basis, or any basis whatsoever for 20 years. CNBC and FNN came on board in the late 1980s, and Lou was on the air for 32 years. He really was ahead of his time because most Americans didnâ€™t own stocks when Louis started broadcasting.. The biggest ratings for that program were his opening remarks.
“Business news is still not a priority for broadcasting. We have CNBC, but most nightly business broadcasts, if they cover the market or business at all, itâ€™s very cursory. There is no context, and they just donâ€™t cover the financial news on a regular basis. Itâ€™s second to sports and third to entertainment. Lou really brought it to the fore and led the way for the rest of us.”
Linda Oâ€™Bryon, the senior vice president and general manager of NBR Enterprises/WPBT2, which produces â€œNightly Business Report,â€? seen nationally on more than 250 public television stations, said, â€œLouis Rukeyser had a keen intellect â€¦ with a great ability to turn a phrase. It was a powerful combination that helped demystify financial information for millions of viewers, over many years. His pioneering work paved the way for broader coverage of investment information on television.â€?
Louis Rukeyser, the business journalist whose “Wall Street Week” show aired on TV for nearly 35 years, will be remembered this weekend by two special shows. Rukeyser died earlier this week from a rare bone cancer at the age of 73.
CNBC is airing a one-hour special, hosted by Maria Bartiromo, about Rukeyser on Friday night at 8 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. The show will be repeated on Saturday at the same times.
â€œThe reason we do this is that Mr. Rukeyser was really a pioneer in covering Wall Street, finance and investing,â€? said Tyler Mathisen, manager editor at CNBC. â€œFor 35 years, there werenâ€™t many people important in the world of money who didnâ€™t know Rukeyser, respect him or appear on his program.â€?
A video remembrance of Rukeyser prepared by CNBC’s Bill Griffeth, which hosted his show in 2002 and 2003, can be viewed here. The video also has comments from two of Rukeyser’s long-time guests on his show. They have old footage of Rukeyser from the early days as well, which is fun to watch.
Meanwhile, Consuelo Mack will honor Rukeyser’s career on her “WealthTrack” show on Friday night as well.
During Rukeyser’s long illness, Mack was the guest host for his program distributed by WLIW New York, and on this week’s episode of “Consuelo Mack WealthTrack” she will pay tribute to her public television predecessor and CNBC colleague.
“WealthTrack” airs on presenting station WLIW New York Fridays at 7:30 pm and weekends on public television stations nationwide (check local listings).
The Birmingham News is reporting that Barr Nobles, who served as editor of the Birmingham Business Journal for seven years, has left the weekly publication, one of the American City Business Journals’ newspapers.
The News described the departure as amicable, and Nobles said that there was no disagreement between him and the paper’s publisher, Melanie Dickinson. Dickinson declined comment.
The News story said, “Nobles, who calls himself a ‘newspaper gypsy,’ has worked in the industry for 35 years, starting his career at the Savannah Morning News. He worked for the Nashville Banner, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Memphis Business Journal before joining the Birmingham Business Journal.
“He and his wife Jayme plan to stay in Birmingham, he said, where he hopes to remain involved in the business community.”
Read the rest here.
Advertising Age is reporting that business magazine Forbes is seeking an investor to buy a stake in the company, but what the money would be used for is unclear.
Reporter Nat Ives writes, “Other executives in the business-magazine category speculated that Forbes may want extra cash to fund a new assault on Europe with a region-specific edition. It served Europe and other regions with Forbes Global from 1998 until last summer, when it remade the title as Forbes Asia.
“The business-magazine sector has been sluggish, of course, and Forbes magazine has felt the effects. Its ad pages almost held flat in the first quarter, slipping 0.4%, and fell 2.9% last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
“But Forbes also collected $63.8 million in ad revenue during the first quarter, more than any competitor, and up 4.4% from $61.1 million during the first quarter of 2005, according to estimates by TNS Media Intelligence.
“That $63.8 million also represents nearly 25% of the ad revenue brought in by a competitive set comprising Forbes, Business Week, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, Conde Nast Publications’ Wired, Barron’s from Dow Jones, Time Inc.’s Fortune and Business 2.0 and Mansueto Ventures’ Inc. and Fast Company.
“Forbes.com has also become a tremendous asset to the company, to the point that Forbes.com President-CEO Jim Spanfeller told attendees at last year’s American Business Media conference in Boca Raton, Fla., that its ad revenues would “probably” exceed that of Forbes magazine in “about 18 to 20 months.” That was 12 months ago.”
Read the rest here.
Target, the large retailer, has joined a number of other companies in closing its annual meeting to reporters, according to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune by reporter Chris Serres.
Serres writes, “In the past, the company allowed members of the media to ask questions of senior executives in a briefing after the meeting.
“Brookter said that briefing will not occur this year because executives will head directly back to Minneapolis. She noted that the entire meeting will be available on a webcast.”
Read the story here.
In December, New Jersey-based IDT Communications barred a New York Times reporter from attending its annual meeting. It’s happened in previous years as well. In 2001, Yahoo! wouldn’t allow reporters into its annual meeting, and in 1999, Exxon Mobil wouldn’t allow reporters from gay publications into its meeting. In 2001, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. would not let a reporter from the San Francisco Bay Guardian attend its annual meeting.
I’ve written about this year before on the blog here, so I won’t belabor the point.
However, I have a business journalism student, Laura Youngs, who just turned in a paper on the issue of companies closing annual meetings to journalists.
Youngs writes, “John Heine, deputy director in the office of public affairs for the SEC, said that there is nothing on the commissionâ€™s table right now about regulating annual meetings.
“‘The nuts and bolts questions about how corporations are run and how they conduct their business are a matter of state law, and general corporate law and company bylaws,’ he said.
“‘â€¦ Weâ€™re basically charged with making sure that the markets, investors and shareholders â€¦ have access to reliable, accurate, current information about companies whose securities are trading in the markets or companies who are selling securities in the markets,’ he said.
“If regulation were introduced, it is something that would need to be handled by the U.S. Congressional law or by states in their open-meetings or corporate governance laws, said Thomas Hazen, a UNC School of Law professor whose writing has focused on corporate, securities and commodities law.
“‘This is a close call, because the SEC is concerned with disclosure, but the SEC rules focus on not who gets to go to the meetings â€¦ but with who the invitations go out to,’ he said.”