Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

Dawn Wotapka Headshot

WSJ real estate reporter Wotapka joins PR firm

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Dawn Wotapka, a real estate reporter for The Wall Street Journal who left the paper last month, has joined a New York-based public relations firm.

She will be an associate vice president at Rubenstein Associates, a 60-year-old Manhattan-based agency.  Wotapka will work in the firm’s expanding real estate practice headed by Steve Solomon.

“With her great knowledge and understanding of the real estate industry and how it works, Dawn is a terrific addition to our multi-faceted practice,” stated Solomon, in a statement.  “We, as well as many of our clients, are excited to welcome her aboard.”

For the past seven years, Wotapka covered a variety of real estate beats, including home builders, residential developers and owners, and student housing operators, and monitored corporate earnings and SEC filings for both the Journal and the Dow Jones Newswires.  Most recently, she wrote cover stories and helped with multimedia features for “Mansion,” the Journal’s weekly luxury real estate section.

Prior to joining the Journal, Wotapka was a real estate reporter for Long Island Business News, and before that, covered government and transportation for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

During her career, she won a 2007 “Ace” award for her coverage of WCI Communities; an award from the NY State Society of CPA’s for her 2009 series “Lurking in the Balance Sheet” and an honorable mention for “Best Body of Work” from NAREE in 2011.  She is credited with two front-page “A-Heds”, considered the Journal’s highest quality prose.

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The WSJ and the Medicare data

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Erik Wemple of The Washington Post writes about the role of The Wall Street Journal in obtaining the release of data about how much Medicare was paying doctors across the country.

Wemple writes, “Colleen Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Co., tells the Erik Wemple Blog, ‘If it weren’t for the Journal’s efforts to overturn the injunction, the public would not have this information.’

“Injunction? Indeed: Settle in for a wild government-records story, one that dates back to the time that the Department of Health & Human Services was known as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). In March 1977, HEW helped out the public by releasing information identifying physicians that had received Medicare reimbursements of $100,000. The department was getting ready to make public more data about Medicare when the Florida Medical Association and some physicians sued to stop the release of information. They prevailed: In October 1979, federal Judge Charles R. Scott issued a permanent injunction against disclosing ‘any list of annual Medicare reimbursement amounts, for any years, which would personally and individually identify those providers of services under the Medicare program who are members of the recertified class in this case.’

“And for the most part, there the matter stood for decades. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal, along with the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) began trying to chip away at the records denial, as outlined in this court document. Following the submission of a Freedom of Information Act request by CPI, the parties reached a settlement with HHS to access something called the ‘Carrier Standard Analytic File,’ essentially a bunch of Medicare data that hadn’t ever seen sunlight. The Wall Street Journal used the information as the basis for a celebrated 2010 series on Medicare; it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, which commended the publication for ‘its penetration of the shadowy world of fraud and abuse in Medicare, probing previously concealed government databases to identify millions of dollars in waste and corrupt practices.’

“The Wall Street Journal wasn’t done, however. In January 2011, Dow Jones filed suit to kill the entire injunction, the better to open access to the whole trove of Medicare reimbursement data. It pushed the clear public interest in the disclosure, noting that Medicare ‘has grown twenty-fold in nominal dollars, and nearly three-fold as a percentage of the total federal budget’ since the 1979 injunction. The May 2013 ruling in the case read in part, ‘Intervenor Dow Jones & Company, Inc.’s Motion to Vacate Permanent Injunction (Doc. 56) is GRANTED.’”

Read more here.

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WSJ putting standards editor in Hong Kong

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Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker sent out the following staff announcement on Friday:

I’m delighted to announce that Rob Rossi, currently deputy national news editor, is appointed Deputy Editor, Standards for Asia, based in Hong Kong. Rob becomes the first member of the standards and ethics team to be located outside New York.

Rob brings a wealth of journalism experience to the role, in which he will act as ‘final reader’ for copy during the Asian day (including some early European material) as well as leading standards training in the region and myriad related duties. Rob will report to Neal Lipschutz, the Journal’s ethics editor.

Rob joined the Journal copydesk in 2000 and has held a number of important positions, including editing international news. He spent a year as a deputy editor in the Health & Science bureau before returning in 2008 as Deputy National News Editor.

Prior to joining Dow Jones, Rob worked seven years as a reporter, writer and editor for American Lawyer Media papers in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Born in Waterbury, Conn., (former Brass Capital of the World), Rob graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He moves to Hong Kong from Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife Ellie, two daughters and a rotating cast of pets. He says that living in New York City during three Boston Red Sox championship seasons has accelerated his recovery from also living here during the 1986 World Series in which Boston lost to the Mets. Please join us in congratulating Rob and wishing him well with his important new assignment.

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WSJ expands economics news team

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The following announcement was sent out Thursday by Washington bureau chief Gerald Seib and economics editor Neil King:

We’re delighted to announce new appointments and hires that will bring added heft and fresh skills to The Wall Street Journal’s expanding global economics team.

Sudeep Reddy is named deputy global economics editor, while Tim Aeppel is taking on an expanded role as the Journal’s senior economics correspondent.

Matt Stiles is joining us from NPR as a data reporter based in Washington, a move that will enliven and sharpen our abilities to unearth new data trends and bring complex policy stories to life.

And two great reporters have come on board: Nick Timiraos, Journal housing reporter extraordinaire, and Josh Zumbrun, until recently Bloomberg’s crack Fed reporter.

Sudeep Reddy’s appointment formalizes and widens a role he assumed last spring, when he joined the editing ranks and transformed our daily economics coverage for the digital era. Sudeep aligned our reporting teams into a single structure to deliver faster and smarter news content across all platforms. He will continue to play a key role in steering our coverage of U.S. and international economics and economic policy.

Since coming to the Journal in 2007, Sudeep has covered U.S. and international economics, economic policy, global trade and the world’s leading economic institutions including the Federal Reserve, Treasury, IMF and World Bank. He is respected by colleagues on every continent from his coverage of the global financial crisis, the euro crisis and international policy summits.

Sudeep came to us from The Dallas Morning News, where he served as an energy reporter in Texas and a Washington correspondent covering business topics in Congress and federal regulatory agencies. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in history and biomedical ethics.

Tim Aeppel, in his new role, will use his deft feel for the country and deep understanding of business in reporting on the many forces shaping the U.S. and global economies. He also will help formulate and steer major projects and leders within the broader economics team.

Tim brings to his new assignment an unmatched reputation for coverage of manufacturing and the industrial economy, as well as for his meticulous reporting and writing. All his skills served the global economics team well for the years he served as bureau chief, directing the New York economics group.

A native of bustling Loup City, Neb., Tim joined the Journal in 1989 to cover Germany—and, within weeks of his arrival, was witness to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He went on to chronicle the reunification of Germany and to become the Journal’s Europe-wide auto correspondent. After moving back to the U.S., he carved out a beat covering America’s factory floors. He is a graduate of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and of Principia College.

Matt Stiles’s arrival in the Washington bureau April 21 will mark a dramatic uptick in our abilities to unearth telling data on the U.S. and global economies, and to tell vivid graphical tales. He also will be sharing his arts with our political team.

New York magazine named Matt one of the country’s top 21 “new media innovators,” lauding the huge databases he assembled during his time with the online Texas Tribune.  One tracked the ZIP codes and per capita incomes of the state’s top lottery buyers, while another dug into the details of all the state’s prison inmates.

Matt comes to us from NPR, where he served three years as one of the organization’s top data gurus and hatched many of its top visualization projects. One application he created on fracking in Pennsylvania was part of a package of drilling stories that won a DuPont-Columbia Award. He was also an arch trainer and mentor to others in the NPR newsroom, a flair he will bring with him to the Journal.

Matt covered cops and crime for four years at The Dallas Morning News, moved to The Houston Chronicle in 2005, and then worked as a reporter and news applications editor at The Texas Tribune before heading to NPR. He’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington.

Nick Timiraos, who is wrapping up his service on the housing beat this month, will cover the full spectrum of issues shaping the economy.

Nick joined the Journal in 2006 as an intern in his native L.A. and did a stint for us on the 2008 campaign trail. He went on to earn his stripes as the nation’s top housing reporter. He covered the real estate sector throughout the housing bust and recovery, the government’s response to the mortgage crisis, the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other developments in housing-finance policy.

He graduated from Georgetown University, where he served as an editor of The Hoya, Georgetown’s premier campus newspaper.

Josh Zumbrun, who has been turning everything imaginable into charts since he joined us last week, also will report on topics across the field of economics.

Josh, who grew up on a hog farm in Indiana, has covered vast terrain in a decade of D.C. reporting. He started on the Metro and Style desks at the Washington Post, where he pioneered the practice of—and the term—hypermiling. (He can explain.) He went on to excel in covering the economy and the Federal Reserve, first at Forbes and then Bloomberg for the past four years. His background includes service as a Citgo gas station attendant and a cook at Hot Stuff Pizza.

Josh, who graduated from Georgetown with a degree in international economics, also served as the editor of The Hoya – a year before Nick.

Please join us in welcoming all to their new posts.

WSJ asia

WSJ Asia names new publisher

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William Lewis, the interim CEO of Dow Jones & Co., sent out the following announcement on Thursday:

I am pleased to announce some significant changes to our leadership structure in Asia that will position us for success.

Effective immediately, Mark Pope will take the role of Managing Director of Dow Jones Asia, and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Asia reporting into me. Mark has done an excellent job of transforming the Asia advertising sales team and building a strong revenue pipeline in the region. Much like Kelly Leach’s role in Europe, Mark will lead our brands across Asia, bringing the local heads of departments together around a set of unified goals to carve out a successful commercial future for our business.

Mark will drive forward our consumer revenue strategy in Asia and in particular will coordinate activities across Circulation and Advertising Sales. Heads of departments in Asia will continue to report into their respective functional global heads, but work cohesively with Mark to grow our business in Asia. As part of this change, Charlotte Lee has left the company and we wish her well in her future endeavors.

To support this new structure, Kamy Chiu – VP International HR will take on additional responsibilities as Deputy Managing Director of Dow Jones Asia assisting Mark in his new role.

I am really confident and excited about the future for our business in the region and look forward to seeing many of you again when I return to Asia shortly. Please join me in congratulating Mark and Kamy on their new roles and wishing them success for the future.

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WSJ hires Frosch as Denver-based reporter

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Miguel Bustillo, the U.S. Southwest editor at The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following staff hire announcement on Wednesday:

We’re excited to announce that Dan Frosch has joined us this week as our new Denver-based U.S. News reporter.

Dan comes to the Journal from the New York Times, where he reported on a breadth of stories, from the 2012 shooting rampage at a Colorado cinema to the struggles of migrant sheepherders, from the paper’s Rocky Mountain Bureau since 2007.

He previously worked last decade for the Santa Fe Reporter, where he won an investigative reporting award from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for a series on corruption in New Mexico, and for the rap magazine The Source, where he profiled Snoop Dog and Cypress Hill, and wrote about the lives of young Bloods gang members in Los Angeles, as west coast editor.

He’s not actually a DJ, but admits to having been in a forgettable rap group in the late 1990s at his alma mater, Wisconsin’s Beloit College, a musical pastime he has mercifully left behind. He’s originally from New York City, but now resides in Denver, from where he will cover New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming for us.

Please join me in welcoming Dan to the Journal.

Wall Street Journal

NYTimes should have acknowledged WSJ

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Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, writes Wednesday that its story about doctors who are paid huge sums from Medicare should have acknowledged The Wall Street Journal, whose litigation led to the release of the data.

Sullivan writes, “The Journal, through its publisher, Dow Jones, has pushed hard on this, as have some individuals and consumer groups, suing to overturn an injunction won by the American Medical Association that would have kept the information private. It has followed up relentlessly, as detailed in a sidebar with today’s Journal article.

“That kind of legal action is crucial for news organizations — and it requires time, expense and persistence. (The Times has done similar kinds of things on many occasions, too. Such efforts are a cornerstone of investigative reporting.)

“I asked Susan Chira, an assistant managing editor involved in the story’s editing and publication, about crediting The Journal. She responded in an email: ‘I agree it would have been better to mention it and I wish we had. It was an oversight.’

“Times reporters Reed Abelson and Sarah Cohen did an excellent job of digging into the data and analyzing it, and the Times story seems well edited and solid. But the underlying information probably would not have been available without the legal fight; there should have been at least a nod to The Journal’s role in that.”

Read more here.

Andrea Fuller

WSJ hires digital reporter Fuller

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Andrea Fuller, who has been crunching data for the interactive applications team at Gannett Digital, has been hired to work on the data investigations team at The Wall Street Journal.

She will be working with Rob Barry and Tom McGinty.

At Gannett, Fuller used Python and SQL daily to scrape and analyze data on education, weather, entertainment and other topics.

Before Gannett, had worked at the Center for Public Integrity in September 2012 as a data reporter. She previously worked at The Chronicle of Higher Education in a similar role. There, she oversaw the publication’s award-winning analysis of presidential pay at non-profit colleges. She also worked on stories and interactive graphics about a number of other higher-education issues, including student debt, conflicts of interest, and fraud.

Fuller previously interned for The Chronicle, The New York Times, The Hill, and The Asheville-Citizen-Times. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

Matt Stiles

WSJ hires Stiles from NPR

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Matt Stiles, who is the data editor for National Public Radio’s news apps team, has been hired by The Wall Street Journal.

Stiles will be an economics reporter at The Journal.

In an email to Talking Biz News, he wrote, “It’s not strictly defined yet, but generally I’ll be a data-focused reporter on the economics team. But I hope I’ll also be a resource for politics reporters and others in the bureau.”

In his NPR role, Stiles is responsible for obtaining and analyzing databases and using them to help the team tell interactive stories on npr.org. He also works with reporters and editors in the newsroom to help them understand the data they encounter on their beats.

Stiles began his career at NPR in June 2011, as the data reporting coordinator for NPR’s StateImpact, a project started to develop state-focused content as well as identify and train public media journalists in cross-platform reporting and digital storytelling tools. Stiles supported the project’s reporters, training them in ways to use data in stories. He also oversaw the development of data-related tools in the StateImpact content management system.

Stiles helped create an interactive application related to fracking in Pennsylvania as part of a package of drilling stories by the StateImpact team that received a DuPont-Columbia Award for member stations WITF and WHYY. Stiles also helped create “Deals for Developers,” an interactive story in partnership with WAMU in Washington, DC. The series was a finalist in the public service category of the Online News Association awards. Other projects Stiles helped develop for NPR include a crowd-sourced database of playgrounds designed to include children with disabilities, a map of the damage caused by the 2013 Moore, Okla., tornado and a database of workers killed in grain bins throughout the United States.

Prior to joining NPR, Stiles worked as a reporter in Texas. From 2001-2005 he was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News, where he wrote about local and federal law enforcement. In 2005, Stiles moved to The Houston Chronicle where he covered City Hall and state government. Then, in 2009, Stiles worked as a reporter and news applications editor at The Texas Tribune, a digital news startup in Austin.

In 2011, Stiles was given a special distinction citation at the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism recognizing his work at The Texas Tribune.

WSJ Europe

WSJ hires finance reporters from Bloomberg, Reuters

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Duncan Mavin, Europe finance editor at The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following staff announcements on Tuesday:

We’re very pleased to announce some significant new hires that will add depth and breadth to our coverage of finance and markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Simon Clark joins as private-equity reporter. Simon previously spent 13 years at Bloomberg News where he won numerous international awards. His previous reporting runs the gamut from U.K. banks in the financial crisis to the plight of Congolese child laborers. He holds degrees in English and Italian and International Relations.

Laurence Fletcher will cover hedge funds. Laurence comes to us from Reuters, where he worked for the past eight years in a variety of roles including European Hedge Fund Correspondent. His reporting earned several international awards and has included an exclusive investigation into the collapse of hedge fund Dynamic Decisions and revelations about Bernard Madoff’s U.K. business dealings. Laurence has a degree in English and has also worked for Bloomberg News and Citywire.

Shayndi Raice is appointed M&A reporter.  Shayndi joined Dow Jones Newswires in 2010 and was most recently covering the banking industry for the WSJ in New York. Prior to that she covered the tech sector in San Francisco, reporting on the IPOs of Facebook, Groupon and Zynga. She comes to London with a strong track record of scoops, arriving just as the M&A sector in this region starts to heat up. Shayndi previously worked for The Boston Courant, and has four degrees, including a Masters in Journalism from Columbia.