Tag Archives: Personal finance coverage
George Gombossy, the former business editor and consumer columnist at the Hartford Courant, is now writing his consumer advice column for two other newspapers in Connecticut, The Bristol Press and New Britain Herald.
Gombossy left the Courant last year after disagreements over one of his columns, and he then sued the paper. Gombossy also started a Web site, connecticutwatchdog.com.
A story in the Bristol paper states, “He worked with thousands of readers who sent him tips and his Watchdog columns resulted in more than a dozen state investigations.
“During his 40-year career at the newspaper, Gombossy led teams of reporters that won dozens of awards, including the George Polk Award and the American Bar Associationâ€™s Silver Gavel Award.
“The National Association of Consumer Advocates gave Gombossy its highest journalistic award â€” the 2009 Media Award â€” for his 40 years of working on behalf of consumers and investors as a reporter, editor and columnist.”
Read more here.
Terri Cullen, an award-winning financial journalist and author, has been hired by Reuters to the newly created role of wealth management editor.
Cullen, who begins on Monday, will be based in New York and will report to Richard Baum, global editor of consumer media, Reuters.
In this new role, Cullen will serve as both editor of personal investing coverage on Reuters.com as well as the editorial lead for Reuters wealth management initiative, a new service due out later this year that will leverage Thomson Reuters business to business wealth assets in an effort to create an online consumer offering for Reuters.comâ€™s audience of affluent, business professionals.
“I am thrilled to be joining Reuters, and look forward to working with Richard and the outstanding Reuters team,” Cullen said in a statement. “It’s an incredible opportunity to help guide personal finance and wealth management coverage at such an exciting time of growth at Reuters.”
In 1995, Cullen was instrumental in the launch of The Wall Street Journal Online, and for the 13 years following, served as an editor and columnist overseeing personal finance and financial markets coverage for WSJ.com. She left the Journal in August 2008.
She also produced its award-winning “Fiscally Fit” column and was the author of “The Wall Street Journal Complete Identity Theft Guidebook,” published in 2007.
“Terri is a first-class journalist with impressive subject matter expertise, web experience, and entrepreneurial spirit. I am very excited to have Terri aboard,” said Baum in a statement.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Bloomberg News has dropped John Wasik‘s award-winning personal finance column, the writer confirmed to Talking Biz News on Monday.
Running for the past eight years, the column was eliminated as Bloomberg moved to consolidate its purchase of BusinessWeek. Earlier this year, Wasik had shared the personal finance beat with Jane Bryant Quinn, whose column was cut in late July.
“It was a great run,” Wasik said. “Matt Winkler (editor in chief) gave me the opportunity to write about the housing crisis, derivative problems and pitfalls in retirement, college and financial planning long before last year’s meltdown.”
“I believe in what I’m doing and hope to get back on deadline soon. I hope to build upon my work and expand the reach of personal finance reporting even more. This beat has never been more important to struggling Americans. “
Wasik is the author of 13 books, including “The Audacity of Help: Obama’s Economic Plan” and the “Remaking of America” and “The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream,” both published by the soon-to-be downsized Bloomberg Press. His Bloomberg column had been picked up by papers on five continents including The Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and Boston Globe.
Perez-Pena writes, “The new ad, appearing in USA Today, says, ‘Itâ€™s time we told retailers how you feel about their pushy holiday-season practices.’ Then it cites results from a national survey showing that most Americans do not like it when store employees ask them to sign up for store credit cards, ask for phone numbers or e-mail addresses, push extended product warranties or fail to open more checkout lanes when there are lines.
“Consumer Reports said it had paid $143,000 for the ad.
“‘I wouldnâ€™t say thereâ€™s less need’ than in the boom years, James A. Guest, president and chief executive of Consumers Union, the advocacy group that publishes the magazine, said. ‘People are buying less, but people want to be smarter buyers.’
“Extended warranties are a particular peeve for Consumer Reports, which has inveighed against them for years. They were the subject of the first in its series of holiday season ads, in 2006, prompting an opposing ad in USA Today from the Service Contract Industry Council, a group representing the sellers of those warranties.”
Read more here.
Bob Mong, the editor of the Dallas Morning News, writes Sunday about how the paper has expanded its relationship with the Financial Planning Association of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Mong writes, “‘For years, we have answered readers’ financial questions in the Business section. Now we’ve taken the service much further, thanks to a network of local financial planners,’ said Dennis Fulton, our Business editor. ‘The service is free of charge for qualifying readers.’
“Here’s what’s available to you:
You can pose a simple financial question at our Expert Financial Advice blog. Just go to www.dallasnews.com/financialhelp and click on ‘ask a question’ and a financial expert will respond.
If you have a more complex question or if you’d like to meet with a planner, go to the same blog and click on ‘meet with a planner’ to see if you qualify for a free meeting.
To have a complete financial plan prepared, click on ‘apply for a money makeover.’”
Read more here.
The San Francisco Chronicle has started a new blog called Get to Work,Â aimed at people looking for jobs or working for themselves as independent contractors, freelancers or consultants.
A short announcement states, “Edited by Chronicle economics writer Tom Abate, with help from career coach Kimberly Thompson, this blog is about how to succeed during tough times.
“Visit us for ideas and inspiration, and share your tips and questions about how to find, get and keep work.”
Read more here. Abate has started and sold two companies. He has written about high-tech, biotech and economics. Thompson has spent more than two decades helping people with career changes and job searches.
Journalists from The Roanoke Times, El Sentinel, and Real Atlanta will receive the first McGraw-Hill Personal Finance Journalism Awards, according to the International Center for Journalists. The winners produced stories that helped raise financial literacy in Hispanic communities.
The journalists were among 30 reporters from print, online, radio and television news organizations who participated in a 13-week online program, taught in English and Spanish, designed to provide in-depth knowledge of consumer finance issues of particular importance to Latinos.
The International Center for Journalists administered the program, which was funded by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Over three years, this program has trained more than 100 journalists writing for Hispanic communities throughout the United States.
The winners are:
First Place: Adriana Gomez for her article “When Immigration Meets the American Dream” in the The Roanoke (Va.) Times. The article pinpoints the new challenges immigrants face in securing a home loan during a recession. (Gomez was an intern at the Times and now works for the El Paso Times in Texas.)
Second Place: Enrique Flor of El Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for his article “Defensa gratuita para foreclosures.” He produced a Web story and video on how Latinos can seek free legal support when faced with possible foreclosures.
Third Place: Ana Carolina Gonzalez, for her story “Guia para elegir una Consejeria de Credito,” a step-by-step guide to finding a credit counselor, published on the Real Atlanta Web site (http://www.real-atlanta.com).
The winners will be honored on Oct. 27 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker for the event will be New York Times personal finance columnist Ron Lieber. A panel discussion will follow, featuring Lieber and Hispanic personal finance expert Xavier Serbia, the Spanish-language instructor for the McGraw-Hill course. The panel will be moderated by ICFJ’s president, Joyce Barnathan.
Read more here.Â Disclosure: I was the instructor for the English version of the course and nominated stories, including the one by Gomez, written by my students.
Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review likes how the PBS show “Sesame Street” explained how the current economic turmoil has affected families.
Chittum writes, “I only saw the last forty minutes or so of the one-hour special, so donâ€™t consider this a full review. But let me tell you what I saw: Poignant stories of real people laid low by the crash. Stories of a kind and quality you donâ€™t see much done by journalists. Stuff that hit home.
“Iâ€™ve said it before, but itâ€™s awfully easy â€” especially for grizzled business-media veterans â€” to become numb to the reality of what it means to lose your job or your home. Sure, most of us in the media business have friends and colleagues caught up in our own industryâ€™s depression. But then again, that depression means our own industry is less and less able to produce the kind of quality work it took for granted a decade ago.
“Even back then it was all-too-rare to see something as simple and well done as what PBS did with this special, which was to just go to someoneâ€™s home and tell the story of a struggling family and how itâ€™s coping.
“I saw a vignette on a family of six in Detroit where the father lost his job as an auto engineer. Theyâ€™re surviving off of his wifeâ€™s salary and the dad, clearly a sharp, talented guy, is pretty much resigned to being a stay-at-home father in the bombed-out job scene that is Detroit. ‘Sesame Street’ shows you the vicious circle of the economy at work by showing how the family has severely reined in its spending. When will they be able to turn that back on a bit? It doesnâ€™t look like anytime soon. Tell them about ‘green shoots.’â€
Read more here.
Todd Harrison, one of the founders of the Minyanville personal finance site, has been writing an account of its founding on the Marketwatch.com site recently.
In the latest edition, Harrison writes, “My primary focus was the fund, where I was entering the second year of a two-year deal. The other was Minyanville, which encapsulated my hopes and dreams. It was more of a mission than a business venture; it was entirely personal and very much an escape.
“On weekends and at night, we worked incessantly on building wire frames that would bring Hoofy and Boo to life. I told Casey I would spend $30,000 on the project but that quickly proved conservative. My intention wasn’t to build TheStreet.com — the ambition was much larger than that, perhaps even grandiose.
“I envisioned a community that bridged Wall Street and Main Street, a world-class platform that educated, entertained and engaged. I wanted to change the world and nothing was going to stop me. Not Jim Cramer, not TheStreet.com and certainly not money.
“I had a stash of cash and spared no expense. We enlisted the help of John Bell, an animator once nominated for an Academy Award for special effects, to illustrate Hoofy and Boo. Casey worked from her Santa Monica home office and created the Minyanville platform.”
Read more here.
Reeves writes, “Ramsey doesn’t deny mixing religion and business, and he doesn’t apologize for getting rich doing it, either. Business is a ministry, he says, and good ones prosper by serving people the way God wants them to.
“‘Worship is work-ship, so I don’t separate work from ministry,’ Ramsey said recently at his headquarters in suburban Nashville, where he does his syndicated radio and cable TV shows. Bible verses, crosses and photos of Ramsey decorate the building.
“In the beginning, as now, Ramsey’s refrain was similar to the financial teachings of John Wesley, who started the Methodist movement more than 200 years ago: Earn all you can, save all you can, give away all you can.”
Read more here.