Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

WSJ Mansion

WSJ real estate team looking for three staffers


Constance Mitchell-Ford, who heads the global real estate and property bureau for The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following message on Tuesday:

Real estate is booming again—well, sort of—and the bureau that covers the sector has several job 0penings, as listed below.

Deputy Bureau Chief  —The global real estate bureau is seeking an experienced journalist to help guide coverage of residential and commercial real estate for online and print. A key component of the job involves shepherding Property Report, the commercial real estate section that runs weekly inside Money & Investing. The ideal candidate should have financial writing experience, knowledge of the business and investing aspects of commercial and/or residential real estate and have strong editing skills. The job requires an editor who can conceptualize sophisticated stories, manage a team of reporters in New York, work with reporters and bureaus around the world on features and deliver print-ready copy. Candidate should contact Matt Murray or Constance Ford.

Housing Reporter — The global real estate bureau is seeking a reporter with a track record for breaking news and an ability to understand financial issues to cover housing policy, mortgage credit and two complex housing-related companies: mortgage behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,  which together with government agencies fund more than four in five new home loans. The reporter will have a front row seat into major policy and political debates over the future of the $10 trillion U.S. housing-finance market as Congress and the White House struggle to deal with what to do with the failed—but now very profitable—companies. The beat also requires stepping back from the legal and political debates to explain clearly which borrowers are getting access to mortgage credit and under what terms. The ideal candidate should be able to write sharply on how housing and mortgage trends impact the economy, regulation and credit. The reporter will be expected to work closely with other reporters covering housing trends and home-building to more fully illustrate how these developments are helping or hindering the U.S. housing recovery and the broader economy. Candidate should have at least five years of reporting experience. Candidate should contact Constance Ford.

Commercial Real Estate Reporter — The global real estate bureau is seeking a reporter with a track record for breaking news to cover the financial and investing aspects of commercial real estate. Despite the real estate bust a few years ago, the world’s biggest investment firms continue to bulk up on commercial real estate, making the sector an increasingly important asset class for investors. And they’re using ever-more-clever financial tools to leverage their purchases. While following the big money is key to covering the beat, following the small investor is also important. With bond yields skimpy and stock prices volatile, an increasing number of mom and pop investors are turning to real estate in the search for higher yields and income, with mixed results. The ideal candidate should be able to break news, write fast and deliver copy that is clear and precise.  The reporter will be expected to work closely with other reporters covering commercial real estate, which includes hotels, shopping malls, office towers, apartment buildings and industrial space. Candidates should have at least five years of reporting experience. Candidate should contact Constance Ford.



WSJ’s Brussels staff reshuffled


Stephen Fidler, who oversees coverage from Brussels for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, sent out the following staff changes:

I’m delighted to announce a great new addition to our ranks in Brussels, and some reshuffling of responsibilities within the bureau, aimed at building on our growing reputation as a source of fresh, reliable and original news and analysis from the capital of the European Union.

Viktoria Dendrinou has joined us from Reuters Breakingviews, where she has worked since 2012. Before that, she was a Nico Colchester Journalism fellow The Economist in London. Viktoria has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, where she studied at Jesus College, and an MSc in Economics from University College London. She will take over responsibilities for covering EU financial regulation. She speaks French and Greek.

Tom Fairless, who has been a constant source of scoops on financial-regulation since arriving in Brussels in February 2013, will move to the competition beat, where he will cover the EU’s response to mergers and acquisitions, cartels and market abuse. He speaks French and German.

Vanessa Mock, who has covered competition for us superbly since she joined in April 2012, will take over our coverage of EU energy and climate policies. She speaks French, German, Dutch, Spanish and fairly solid Italian.

Because of the large number of international meetings and policy matters to cover from Brussels, expect to hear from them also on areas outside their primary specializations.

Steven Perlberg

Perlberg leaving Business Insider for WSJ


Steven Perlberg, a markets and finance reporter for Business Insider, has resigned to accept a reporting position at The Wall Street Journal.

Perlberg will be covering digital media, marketing and advertising at the News Corp. business newspaper.

“I’m really excited to get started, but I’m also sad to be leaving Business Insider,” said Perlberg in an email to Talking Biz News. “I learned so much there and can’t thank my editors enough — Sam Ro, Joe Weisenthal, and Linette Lopez — for taking a shot on a summer intern. There will be more details on my new role at WSJ, but I’ll be starting April 1.”

Talking Biz News reported last week that The Journal is readying a new product called CMO Today aimed at readers interested in marketing and advertising news.  It has appointed an advertising editor and hired two other reporters — from Adweek and Digiday — to cover advertising and marketing.

Perlberg previously interned at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he covered the health beat, and at ThinkProgress, where he wrote about politics. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in political science and anthropology.

Colleen DeBiase

From dream job at WSJ to new possibilities


Brett Savage-Simon of PRNewswire profiles former Wall Street Journal small business editor Colleen DeBaise, who left the her dream job at the paper to explore the rapidly developing business news world.

Simon writes, “After two years overseeing the print and online coverage of small business for the Journal, DeBaise made the tough decision to leave her ‘dream’ job.

“‘It was difficult to leave the Journal because that’s what I’d worked toward for my entire career,’ she said. ‘I was starting to feel like I was selling my soul in traditional journalism. I was sad for the profession but I was ready to leave it.’

“Her departure opened new doors and new possibilities. First at Entrepreneur.com, and now as director of digital media for The Story Exchange, a non-profit news organization that profiles female business owners through video and print stories that are picked up by the New York Times. It’s a small operation, but what excites DeBaise about it is that she is doing what she loves most – writing – without the advertising pressures that used to dictate her every move.

“‘I feel like this is a trend that has been happening ever since Paul Steiger left the Journal and started ProPublica. Now, we’re seeing it with Bill Keller and The Marshall Project,’ she adds. ‘I see privately funded non-profit news organizations as being the future of pure, quality journalism.’”

Read more here.


Covering business in Africa: A good or bad story?


Per Talking Biz News last week, the Wall Street Journal recently listed an opening for a business reporter in Africa, describing the position as “the most entrepreneurial of beats.”  The ad was intriguing for two salient reasons:

  1. The ad is for a business reporter in Africa, yet the description clarifies that the beat would be “Silicon Savannah” in Nairobi, Kenya. (Suppose the WSJ ran an ad for a “business reporter in Europe”?)
  2. Is the investment/business climate in Africa truly accelerating?

With 54 African countries, it was a bold move to infer that a reporter covering the startup scene in the 11th largest economy was covering “Africa,” but the gist of the posting – that the beat is ripe for growth — fits a popular narrative of a burgeoning business climate in Africa.

Generally speaking, and while cautiously optimistic, many economists, academics, and others versed in international finance agree that the African continent—with significantly more democratically elected governments and fewer violent conflicts than the 1990s — is poised for growth.


Some experts aren’t so rosy in their predictions, mainly due to a lack of infrastructure on the continent. According to an article in The Economist, “Thandika Mkandawire, a Malawi-born expert, and Dani Rodrik, a Princeton economist, argue that growth is bound to fizzle because of a dearth of factories.” But regarding the raw potential, Forbes contributor Farai Gundan wrote:

The population is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2050 and will soon have the largest workforce according to the Harvard Business Review. Additionally, Africa has a USD $2 trillion economy with about a third of its 54 countries garnering annual GDP growths of more than six percent. Of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world, six are in Africa and rich in natural resources, 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa.

Potential isn’t enough

In an article for Brookings examining Kenya specifically, Mwangi S. Kiemyi, a senior fellow at the Africa Global Initiative, and Josephine Kibe, a guest scholar, wrote:

Donald Kaberuka, the president of the African Development Bank offered some cautionary words. While the good economic news from the continent may well represent a turning point from a past characterized by hopelessness, he said, Africa nevertheless remains far from a tipping point. To reach such a threshold, Africa requires major investments in three “I’s”: institutions, integration, and infrastructure.

And to all the Negative Nancies…

Africa’s risks are mainly perceived and not real”, according to Aliko Dangote, who is widely considered to be Africa’s richest businessman.

Echoing this sentiment in an interview with the International Business Times, Ashish Thakkar, a founding member of the Mara Group, relayed that the 54 different countries in Africa each present different challenges and investment capabilities. The largest barriers to business lie with the fact that venture capital funds have yet to take off like they have in the United States. However, Thakkar sees potential for technology and financial services once the framework for raising financial capital is developed similar to the booming VC industry in the U.S. circa the early 1970s.

But as Dangote elaborates, “Unfortunately for us in Africa we are not really very good at telling our own story. But things are changing and people are beginning to understand that things are going very, very well.”

Unique challenges aside, it seems likely that Africa will continue to present intriguing options for investors and inevitably command a larger portion of business journalism in the near future.  Best of luck to the reporter who lands the gig, and looking forward to more coverage of the business climate in Africa.

Bill C. Smith (@BillCSmith87) is a senior account executive at Dukas Public Relations in New York.

Dawn Wotapka

Real estate reporter Wotapka leaves WSJ


Dawn Wotapka, who has covered real estate for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal, left the news organization earlier this week.

Wotapka is also a board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, but is not running for re-election later this month.

“As far as journalism jobs go, how do you top The Wall Street Journal?” said Wotapka in an email to Talking Biz News. “It has been a blast, but I’ve decided to take a break from deadlines and figure out my next step. I’ll let you where I end up.”

Wotapka had been with Dow Jones for nearly seven years, covering home builders, apartment owners, student housing operators and other real-estate players. Before that, she worked for the Long Island Business News.

She also spent four-plus years as a reporter for The (Raleigh) News & Observer, and interned on the business news desks of the Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News.

Wotapka is a graduate of New York University and N.C. State University.



CFO Journal

WSJ planning CMO Today launch


The Wall Street Journal, which has specialized news products for chief information officers and chief financial officers, is readying one for chief marketing officers, sources have told Talking Biz News.

The Dow Jones & Co. property has been hiring staffers to run what some have called CMO Today. Its similar products are called CFO Journal and CIO Journal. The CFO Journal launched in 2011, while the CFO Journal launched in 2012. Both services provide real-time news, coverage and analysis written and produced by a dedicated team of editors and financial journalists.

In the past month, The Journal has appointed Suzanne Vranica as its advertising editor and hired Mike Shields from Adweek to work on a “special project with more details to be released later.”

In addition, it hired Jack Marshall, a reporter for Digiday, to cover advertising and marketing.

CMO Today is expected to launch by the end of the month, said one business journalist who was approached about working for the site.




Steven Norton

CIO Journal hires Norton from Reuters


Steven Norton, a producer for the Reuters Global Markets Forum, has been hired as a reporter for the CIO Journal, a Wall Street Journal website.

The  CIO Journal is a vertical geared toward chief information officers and other technology executives. He will cover the ways in which technology drives growth and informs business strategy.

The Global Markets Forum is a 24-hour, cross-asset chat room community for finance professionals.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the CIO Journal team,” said Norton in an email to Talking Biz News. “Technology has become an increasingly critical part of the C-suite conversation, and I believe that’s only going to continue. From ‘Big Data’ to cloud computing, cybersecurity and the consumerization of IT, I can’t wait to explore how executives are navigating the rapidly changing technological landscape.”

Norton is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was editor of The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper. He interned at Bloomberg News and the business news desk of the Charlotte Observer.

Liz Heron

Heron, head of social media, leaving WSJ


Almar Latour, executive editor of The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following staff change announcement on Wednesday:

Liz Heron is leaving her position as head of the audience development desk to take on a new challenge at Facebook. Liz has been a real force in the newsroom: Under her leadership, editors and reporters in our global newsroom embraced social media – from sourcing and verification to publishing in innovative ways. Liz helped shape our newsroom mobile phone and tablet strategy, connecting mobile with social, promoting mobile story-telling and encouraging the creation of mobile-first graphics. She also introduced Storyful to the newsroom.  As a result, our social and mobile presence has grown sharply, and the digital transformation of the newsroom has accelerated.  We’d like to thank Liz for everything that she has done for the Journal and wish her best of luck in her new position.

Social Media Editor Allison Lichter will take on Liz’s duties on an interim basis.  Allison has been a digital editor with the Journal since 2010, and led the social media team while Liz was on leave for part of 2013, expanding the social team’s reach to WSJ bureaus around the world. She’s a champion of innovation, specifically on the social media and mobile fronts.

Gerard Baker

A lot of people need to read the Wall Street Journal


Ashley Coates of Xcity magazine interviewed Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker about his career and about the newspaper’s success.

Here is an excerpt:

How has The Wall Street Journal been able to grow its following at a time when most other papers are consigning themselves to quite marked decline in print?

Firstly, I should say that credit is due to a number of other people, namely my predecessor, Robert Thomson as well as Rupert Murdoch. One important factor in our success is that a lot of people need to read The Wall Street Journal because it provides detailed business information. So we have a solid base there which is certainly not invulnerable, but there is a core that a lot of other newspapers don’t have.

The second factor is that when News Corp took over, and Robert Thomson gets all the credit for this, the aim was very much to hold onto that base but also to build out and become a broader newspaper with more politics, general news, arts, culture, lifestyle and sport without diminishing the business news.

Another development, which is related to those two points, is that the US market is evolving very rapidly away from the big city model towards national papers. Unlike the UK, where you have around 12 national papers, in the States you have The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, U-T San Diego, there are hundreds of them, each covering their own patch.

What the digital revolution has done is really sweep away the rationale for that because no one needed to read The Denver Post’s Washington coverage because they could, frankly, read higher quality coverage from a more national organisation.

I think what’s happening is the US newspaper market is evolving into a much more European or Japanese market and we and The New York Times and some of the other bigger papers are evolving into national newspapers. So one of the reasons why we are doing well is the business is consolidating around the big papers, and we’re one of them.

Read more here.