Tag Archives: SABEW
Linda Oâ€™Bryon, who helped start the Miami-based â€œNightly Business Reportâ€? television show back in 1979 now shown on more than 250 public TV stations, said in an interview that she will look at increasing the business news content at her new job as chief content officer for Northern California Public Broadcasting.
â€œThey have a lot of coverage of the local community, and that includes business,â€? she says. â€œSo that will be one of my goals, to develop more in the way of business. ‘Nightly Business Report’ has always talked about opening a West Coast bureau.â€?
O’Bryon, who in 2004 received the Distinguished Achievement Award by SABEW at the 41st annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, will begin her new job on Jan. 2.
Oâ€™Bryon will report directly to Jeff Clarke, president and CEO of Northern California Public Broadcasting. Oâ€™Bryon succeeds John Boland, who recently left to assume the newly created role of chief content officer at PBS.
â€œI am going to miss Florida, but I am looking forward to the challenges in northern California,â€? Oâ€™Bryon told Talking Biz News on Tuesday. â€œIt was a tough decision because I am very happy here and have a great team and enjoy working on ‘Nightly Business Report.’ But this is a new challenge and a new chapter and a wonderful community.â€?
Oâ€™Bryonâ€™s new outfit doesnâ€™t have a specific business show. She spearheaded the creation of “Nightly Business Report” in 1979, when she was serving as news director at the South Florida public television station, WPBT. When NBR launched for the first time in January 1979, she both managed the program and served as its co-anchor. The program was nationally syndicated in 1981 and remains the leading source of daily business news on television. NBR has been credited for spawning the genre of daily news programming broadcast and cable television.
As general manager of NBR Enterprises, the operating division at WPBT that produces business news, Oâ€™Bryon oversaw Nightly Business Reportâ€™s editorial and business operations. In addition to producing 260 daily news programs a year and a daily News Brief, NBR Enterprises also oversaw NBRâ€™s international licensing, its web-site on PBS.org, and video production projects.
Longtime Cleveland Plain Dealer business writer Tom Gerdel is among those on the editorial staff of the paper who is taking a buyout offer and leaving the paper, according to a story in Wednesday’s paper.
Reporter Teresa Dixon Murray wrote, “The newspaper will definitely feel the loss of some of its veterans, [Editor Doug] Clifton said, particularly reporters who have been covering Greater Cleveland for decades.
“A perfect example, he said, is 43-year veteran business reporter Tom Gerdel, who covers manufacturing and has extensive knowledge about the business community. Clifton said Gerdel has built up ‘a Rolodex of names and a lifetime of trust.’
“‘You always hate to see institutional knowledge go,’ said Clifton, who became The Plain Dealer’s editor in 1999. ‘On the upside, a fresh eye is sometimes helpful.’”
Read more here. Gerdel was known for his coverage of manufacturing and the steel industry. In 2005, he was part of a team of Plain Dealer reporters who won a SABEW Best in Business award for breaking news. He was also part of teams from the Plain Dealer in 2001, 2002 and 2003 that won a SABEW Best in Business award for breaking news or spot news.
Kevin Noblet, the business editor at the Associated Press, has been part of a team at the wire service examining how it can put together a new page for business sections as a replacement for the stock listings that many papers are cutting. Called Money & Markets, the new AP product is now rolling out into newspapers. Among the first to start using Money & Markets are papers in South Bend, Ind., and Buffalo, N.Y.
Noblet became business editor in 2004 after being deputy business editor since 2000. In a recent interview with Talking Biz News, Noblet, a SABEW board member, explained the new product. What follows is an edited transcript.
1. Can you explain what Money & Markets is?
It’s a new approach to presenting markets and investment information, a combination of analytical reporting, graphics and data with complementary print and online components. The print modules can be used individually or built into a standard page, or pages, which will be a daily destination for investment-minded readers. Theyâ€™re complemented by online features that allow users to go deeper. These will help newspapers capture readership and build traffic on the Web, where they are in competition with Yahoo, Google et al. While traditional market agate is focused entirely on what happened yesterday (or last week for the weekend wraps), Money & Markets has key elements that are forward-looking and can be more useful and relevant for investors.
2. When did the AP start thinking about this new product?
We’ve been discussing possible alternatives for more than a year. We moved into high gear in the winter, with lots of research. Early this year we brought in Hal Ritter, a former ME for the Money section of USA Today, as a consultant to help guide the design of the product with input from many members and a large team of AP staff.
3. What were some of the factors in pushing for a new way to provide market information?
AP has been the principle supplier of data for markets tables in U.S. newspapers large and small, so we’re sensitive to the big cuts newspapers have been making in those pages. We saw a real danger that the investment-minded reader would abandon business sections entirely unless an innovative approach was developed, one that encompassed both the changing needs of print, including quality, convenience and a compact format, and the new requirements of online, where people also want depth and interactivity.
4. What options or modules does it provide for business sections?
Ease and flexibility of use are keys to how Money & Markets works. The standardized set of daily modules fall into three categories: 1. explanatory and analytical; 2. local and 3. those that offer a new twist on traditional agate. In the first category are items like the Centerpiece, which examines market news and trends, and Today, which lets readers know what to watch for in the day ahead and why. In the second category are a newspaperâ€™s customized selection of local stocks, industry lists and related information. In the third, we offer compact selections in categories like currencies, commodities and interest rates. It all fits well with their A-to-Z tables, which of course newspapers still can offer to the extent they choose to. The modules can, however, be used in markets pages or elsewhere in the section â€“ including on the business cover or even in other sections. Thereâ€™s a lot of flexibility.
5. How is that information put together?
A Money & Markets team of two reporters, two graphic artists and an editor create the analytical modules, tapping into the larger APâ€™s resources for covering investment news, including our growing staff in New York and in bureaus around the country, and the world for that matter. The others are largely automated, like our customized tables data are.
6. What role did the newspapers play in the development?
A key one. We sought, and certainly got, detailed feedback on prototypes from a variety of big and small papers, through both a formal survey process and through informal contacts that are ongoing. Lots of AP staff, including marketing executives, bureau chiefs and technical staff, have been involved in this. Our Markets Information group has had a close relationship with markets editors at literally hundreds of member papers for years, and weâ€™ve tapped into that as well. Even as we moved into production this month, weâ€™ve been seeking and receiving suggestions on modifications and enchancements. Thatâ€™s not going to stop.
7. How many papers have already signed up?
We started with a small group of beta customers, now numbering five, and there are a couple of dozen more still testing both the print and online services. There are even more in the wings — weâ€™re hearing from more interested newspapers each day.
8. Is there anything similar from your competitors?
Some individual papers have designed pages or parts of pages that have similarities to Money & Markets. But there’s nothing quite like it, and certainly not from any other news agency.
9. Beside newspapers, who might benefit from Money & Markets?
Any news outlet, including broadcasters with a Web presence, would find it useful if theyâ€™re trying to build an audience of investors.
10. How has this affecting the staffing levels at the AP?
We’ve added the five Money & Markets positions already mentioned. Theyâ€™re joining a Business News department thatâ€™s been steadily growing for more than two years, since we created AP Financial News, a premium investment-oriented news service. In New York and Washington alone, weâ€™ve added more than 40 business reporter and editor positions, and we have plans to add more yet.
Linda O’Bryon, who helped start the Nightly Business Report television show back in 1979 that is now shown on more than 250 public TV stations, has been named the new chief content officer for Northern California Public Broadcasting.In 2004, Oâ€™Bryon received the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers at the 41st annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas
O’Bryon will report directly to Jeff Clarke, president and CEO of Northern California Public Broadcasting. O’Bryon succeeds John Boland, who recently left to assume the newly created role of chief content officer at PBS.
O’Bryon will lead the content divisions of a multimedia organization that includes more than 150 television and radio producers and programmers, editors, reporters, educators, web content developers, management and technical personnel at KQED, KTEH, and KCAH.
O’Bryon has been the senior vice president and general manager of NBR Enterprises/WPBT2 in Miami, which produces Nightly Business Report, distributed nationally by PBS on more than 250 stations. In that capacity, she has orchestrated worldwide distribution and content partnerships that have helped shape The Nightly Business Report into an international business news force around the world.
She spearheaded the creation of the program in 1979, when she was serving as news director at the South Florida public television station, WPBT. When NBR launched for the first time in January 1979, she both managed the program and served as its co-anchor. The program, celebrating its 25th anniversary of its national syndication this year, was nationally syndicated in 1981 and remains the leading source of daily business news on television. NBR has been credited for spawning the genre of daily news programming broadcast and cable television.
As general manager of NBR Enterprises, the operating division at WPBT that produces business news, O’Bryon oversees Nightly Business Report’s editorial and business operations. In addition to producing 260 daily news programs a year and a daily News Brief, NBR Enterprises also oversees NBR’s international licensing, its web-site on PBS.org, and video production projects.
If you’re a regular reader of Talking Biz News, then you’ve noticed some changes in the past 24 hours. We’ve undergone a redesign just like many business sections have undertaken in the past year.
Unlike business sections, which are cutting stock listings, we’re not cutting anything. In fact, we’re trying to give you more — and in a more appealing fashion.
You’ll find a direct link to the Society of American Business Editors & Writers on the home page, for example. Just click on the SABEW logo on the right-hand side.
There are still some kinks to be ironed out. But everything should be back to normal by the end of the week.
Mike Langberg, who spent 17 years at the San Jose Mercury News, most recently as the lead columnist for the paper’s business section where he focused on technology issues in Silicon Valley, is leaving the paper to join the TDA Group, a marketing agency
Langberg’s work earned him the Best in Business award for column writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2005.
His previous work at the paper as the personal technology editor and columnist earned him the California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Business Story of the Year in 2002 for the series “What You Can Do About the Spam Flooding Your In-Box,” written with colleague Mary Anne Ostrom. At the Mercury News, he also wrote numerous lead stories about major technology companies.
Before he joined the San Jose Mercury News in early 1989, Langberg was a business reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Prior to this, he was a business reporter at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
Langberg holds a Masters of Arts in journalism from the Communications Department at Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
“I’m joining The TDA Group, a marketing communications agency in Los Altos that creates magazines, annual reports and other material for a wide range of tech companies.
“I’ve always been deeply grateful for the time you’ve taken to read my columns through the years. I particularly appreciate the many readers who have written or posted comments online, whether for me or against me.”
It’s interesting to scan the stories and columns in Wednesday’s newspapers and see how many writers or experts mention CNBC in relation to the Dow Jones industrial average closing at a new record.
Here is a sampling:
1. Susan Tompor, columnist for the Detroit Free Press and a SABEW board member: “The trick to making good money has been to ignore the talking heads on CNBC and the like — and not chase rapidly rising stock prices.” Read more here.
2. From a Palm Beach Post article written by Jeff Ostrowski: “Boynton Beach investment adviser Phil Keating also was underwhelmed. ‘I’m seeing no evidence that people are excited,’ Keating said. ‘It’s mostly a CNBC event. I think people are more interested in the housing market, interest rates and gas prices than they are in trying to get rich off the Dow.’” Read more here.
3. From Drew DeSilver’s story in the Seattle Times: “”CNBC certainly is milking it for all it’s worth, but from my perspective it’s of minimal significance,’ said Peter Glidden, who heads the Seattle office of Harris Private Bank, referring to the cable-TV business channel.” Story is here.
4. From Rob Johnson’s coverage in the Roanoke Times: “Jim Luke wasn’t dour, but he wasn’t dancing in the street either as he gazed through Valley Bank’s window with a practiced analytical eye. After all, he’s the regional portfolio manager for rival bank BB&T, right across Church Avenue. (BB&T has its own flat-screen TV for window watchers, but it was tuned to CNN, while Valley Bank had the more market-specific CNBC on.)” Read more here.
5. James B. Stewart, writing on the SmartMoney web site: “Yet millions of people are interested. Business network CNBC has been breathlessly counting down the Dow’s progress toward a record, and has often been criticized for treating the markets like sporting events. My reaction to that is: So what? Why not have a little fun? I was musing on this the other day as the Dow flirted with a record, wondering why I, too, was rather enjoying the CNBC-induced fixation on the Dow.”
6. Peter Grandich, editor of The Grandich Letter, an investing newsletter, wrote, “Is it just me, or is anyone else not going to be surprised to see the CNBC-TV anchors all wearing DOW 12,000 hats and blowing those New Yearâ€™s Eve gadgets in preparation for the second coming of the great equity bull market? For the love of God, please just watch CNBCâ€™s counterpart in Canada, http://www.robtv.com just one day so you can realize exactly how biased and unprofessional most of CNBC-TV really is â€“ (and how classy all of ROB-TV is).” Read more here.
What does this mean? Two things: That CNBC and the Dow seem to be permanently linked in our thinking of media coverage of the stock market, and that many people seem to think that the cable network overplays coverage when the Dow sets a new record.
George P. Gombossy, editor of The Hartford Courant’s business section since 1995 and a SABEW board member, will leave his post in November to write an investigative consumer column that will debut early next year, according to a story in Tuesday’s paper.His new column, tentatively titled “At Your Service,” will research people’s complaints, concerns and questions and get them answers, Courant Editor Cliff Teutsch said Monday in an e-mail to the newsroom.
“George’s understanding of business, government and consumer issues, his wide circle of contacts and his years of experience as one of The Courant’s most effective investigative reporters make him ideally suited for the job,” Teutsch said. A new business editor will be named soon.
Gombossy, 59, has written or co-authored articles that earned him more than 20 journalistic awards, including the George Polk Award for local reporting.
Read more here.
Orange County Register business columnist Jon Lansner, the former SABEW president, responded in his Wednesday column to the readers who believe that it is the media’s fault that real estate prices are beginning to fall.
Lansner wrote, “Gary Watts, the Orange County industry’s widely watched forecaster, cites news coverage as a major, depressing market force in his latest outlook.
“‘I think the media, in general, needs fear-driven articles to keep readers interested or viewership up,’ Watts told me. A bold headline highlighting what Watts sees as minor market trends ‘makes everybody’s think is this the beginning of the end.’
“I can’t say that all coverage of housing’s gyrations is 100 percent fair. Or that reporters who cover the industry â€“ or the editors who chose what stories get the best display â€“ never exaggerate the importance of statistical housing trivia.
“Basically, we’re reacting to our own consumer surveys that say our audience can’t get enough real estate information. Plus, any market at a turning point is an appealing tale â€“ whether the asset in question is a stock, commodity or a house.
“However, after two decades in this town â€“ a journalism era that encompasses two remarkable housing cycles â€“ I’m keenly aware that ‘shoot the messenger’ is a popular real estate endeavor.”
Read more here.
Christine Tatum, an assistant business editor at the Denver Post, became president of the Society of Professional Journalists in August, becoming one of only a handful of leaders in the organization’s history who focused on business reporting.
Tatum, 35, was a reporter for the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina and for the Arlington Heights Daily Record in Illinois. She also worked for the Chicago Tribune as a reporter. She was a reporter at the Post before becoming an assistant business editor.
Her “Downloads” technology column appeared weekly in the Tribuneâ€™s business pages and was the basis of a regular television segment on CLTV, the Tribune Co.â€™s local cable news channel in Chicago. Tatum also produced chicagotribune.comâ€™s technology section.
Tatum recently talked to UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Chris Roush about SPJ and what it can do for business journalists. What follows is an edited transcript.
1. How did you get interested in business journalism?
While covering technology for the Chicago Tribune, I obviously needed to follow particular technology companies, not just explain to the world how to use various gadgets and gizmos. I fell into the beat during the tech boom of the late ’90s — and what fun that was! Oh, the personalities and corporate extravagance. There were so many quirky aspects of the tech industry and workplace to write about and so many interesting debates raging about whether the “new economy” was indeed something different from the “old economy.” (We know the answer to that now.) I learned in a hurry that business writing is hardly limited to dry reports heavily laden with number-crunching and heady explanations of hedge funds.
I also saw the power of money in an entirely new way. It is an incredibly strong motivator for good and evil — which certainly makes for interesting reporting.
2. How hard was it to learn the subject matter?
Learning business fundamentals isn’t hard — but it takes a while to feel comfortable with them, particularly under intense deadline pressure. I’m still learning plenty — and try to learn more every day. I am far from being as business-savvy as I’d like. I recommend that people study guides for dummies and/or idiots that clearly and quickly define business terms such as “cap ratio” and “days receivable.” It’s amazing how much more of a story can be developed when journalists really know how to look at a company’s financials.
3. Why did you get involved in SPJ?
I believe strongly that journalists should do more to defend the First Amendment and the free flow of public information than what it takes for them to collect their paychecks. I don’t rely on — or wait around for — the lawyers hired by the news organizations I have worked for to champion the issues that matter most to me. And I have no grand delusions that just because I show up for work every day, break a few big stories and file the occasional FOI request that I’m some stalwart defender of a press. No, I think we all need to be doing more than that. SPJ is one of the nation’s largest and oldest journalism advocacy organizations, and its work in only one week is amazing. People who honestly examine all the good the Society does for journalism (and, in turn, our democracy) often find it hard to resist membership and from contributing to that much larger good.
4. What are the benefits for business journalists in being part of SPJ?
Regardless of our specialty in a newsroom, all journalits can support SPJ’s core missions, which include strengthening FOI and open meetings laws and promoting professional ethics and greater diversity of perspective in news coverage. Business journalists in particular will find meaningful training at local, regional and national events that helps them master effective reporting techniques. (more…)