BusinessWeek Magazine is apparently a big mess. Media gossip website Gawker describes it as a “hellhole” riven by “internal backstabbing, sniping, and intra-office gossip wars.”
Later this week BusinessWeek will unveil the results of its 18-month makeover. The magazine is axing its travel, fashion and other lifestyle coverage—except Robert Parker’s wine column—in favor of more business news. They are also re-arranging the magazine by eliminating the distinction between US and worldwide business sections and moving the opinion columns to the back.
In an unusual fit of fairness, we’ve decided to wait to render judgment on the “relaunch” until, you know, we’ve actually seen the new magazine. But they sound good as far as they go. We’ve never read BusinessWeek for travel or fashion, and never really understood what the point was. The only all in one magazine we’ve ever liked is the Spectator out of London. Everyone else we prefer when they stay in their niche.
“The move is a concession to reality: Businessweek has never made much headway in lifestyle coverage and the advertising that accompanies it; neither have its competitors Forbes and Fortune,” Silicon Alley Insider’s Peter Kaplan writes.
On the party crash front, Page Six reports that Martha Stewart, Henry Kissinger, Dylan Lauren and Maria Bartiromo will be getting down at a relaunch party the magazine is throwing at Guastavino’s tonight. DealBreaker’s invitation must have been lost in the mail.
BusinessWeek Magazine Gets a Makeover [Associated Press via Yahoo]
BusinessWeek’s Makeover: More News, Less Lifestyle [Silicon Alley Insider]
We Hear [Page Six]
It’s unlikely that Rupert Murdoch will be hatching the next phase of his campaign to buy Dow Jones tonight. Instead, he’ll be chowing down at Cipriani in midtown, where he is being honored at the Manhattan Institute’s annual Alexander Hamilton dinner.
Fortunately, Cipriani is just a few blocks away from the offices of Skadden Arps, News Corp’s lawyers. So if the Bancroft’s decide to return his calls tonight, he’ll be able to start wheeling and dealing in short order.
Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner [Manhattan Institute]
Center of the Action [New York Sun]
Chris Roush at the Talking Biz News blog points out that within an hour of the release of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report, Fortune Magazine was reporting the content of the report. What’s more, Fortune sent out an email touting three different stories about Warren Buffett.
So how did Fortune accomplish this bit of speedy journalism? Well it turns out that Fortune editor at large Carol Loomis has a “close relationship” with Buffett. They’re buddies. And Loomis does all sorts of things friends do for friends. You know, like visiting when the Omaha winter gets a little dull. Or hanging around eating cheeseburgers. Or playing cards. Or editing Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report.
As Roush explains:
I bring all of this background up, as well as the e-mail, to point out that Loomis, who received the lifetime achievement award last year from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, is writing about information disclosed in an annual report that she edited. Carmine Tiso, senior manager of communications for Fortune, told me in an e-mail, “Yes, Carol did edit the annual report, as she has mentioned in some of her previous stories on Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway in FORTUNE.”
However, this point — that Loomis edited the annual report that she’s writing about — is not mentioned in any of the current stories.
I’ve heard from at least one prize-winning business journalist this afternoon who can’t understand why a business publication allows one of its writers to cover a story in which they played a part. This journalist, who was at the SABEW annual meeting last year when Loomis received her award, said that such a conflict of interest would be grounds for dismissal at any other newsroom.
Yeah. But it’s totally different. Because it’s Saint Warren. He bought his way to Heaven. Helping him can’t be wrong.
Raising the Buffett/Loomis question again [Talking Biz News]
Update: If you want it, here’s Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders.
The rather under-whelming reaction in much of the media to the revelations about top dog CNBC reporter and “Closing Bell” anchor Maria Bartiromo‘s relationship with former Citigroup honcho Todd Thompson—today, for instance, the New York Post‘s Keith Kelly reveals that both Business Week and Reader’s Digest are keeping Bartiromo on board as a columnist—brings to mind one of the first lessons we ever learned in journalism ethics.
It was Spring, the early nineteen nineties, Bill Clinton had recently been elected and we found ourselves living in Washington, DC and considering a career in political journalism. (We eventually recovered from that brief enthusiasm.) One day we were having lunch with an old-school newspaper editor who was, if we recall correctly, then working at Reader’s Digest.
We asked about the “revolving door” problem—people from the political side becoming journalists once they are their patrons were voted out of office. Chris Matthews is now a prominent example at the type, but Pat Buchanan, Tim Russert and countless others have gone through the door. Some of them seem to be perpetually spinning in and out.
The weathered editor told us that he thought the problem was overblown. What’s more, he said, former political staffers might have a kind of expertise and familiarity with the relevant players that a pure outsider would lack. They might add to the public understanding.
Which isn’t to say that it couldn’t be problematic. The real test was weather the journalists were truly independent of their old political ties or still serving or giving the appearance a politician or party.
“I don’t care if you’ve got clowns covering the circus,” the editor told us, “Just as long as they aren’t still fucking the elephants.”
Editors Still Sweet On Money Honey Maria [New York Post]
If you read this site (and what you’re doing right now implies that you do), you know we like to treat you to a bit of Howard Lindzon’s WallStrip, starring Lindsay Campbell, every now and then. It’s entertaining, informative, and, of course, good filler. But today’s BusinessWeek feature on the show’s enormous popularity confirms our long standing suspicion, and greatest reason for linking you to WS every now and then, as opposed to say, an article from the Journal: you’re illiterate. (Also, you think Jim Cramer is a circus clown, but that’s like saying you think the Jerry Springer show we have going on in our comments section is a bit sleazy, you know? It’s already implied).
Stock Tips For Generation YouTube [BusinessWeek]
Amit Chatwani, long time friend of DealBreaker and the man behind Leveraged Sell-Out, is profiled in Business Week. It’s such a fawning exercise that we wonder what dirt Chatwani has on the BW writer. It even describes the “origins” of LSO like he was some kind of effin superhero.
The nefarious persona began to take shape when Chatwani drafted a widely forwarded mock cover letter to Lehman Brothers Inc. (LEH ) during his senior year at Princeton in 2004. “I have been practicing staring at a computer monitor for extended hours,” he wrote. “I can currently sit motionless in front of a screen for 28 hours, and I am improving daily.”
The computer science grad moved to New York later that year, where he settled with 10 cub investment bankers in a Tribeca loft and marinated in their vernacular and rituals. He found himself invited to yearend bonus parties of P. Diddy-esque profligacy. Chatwani marveled at how conspicuously guys wore their firms’ id badges to get a leg up in a shallow mating game. And how quality Wall Street relationship time consisted of stealing away from the office once a week to share an hour of TiVo. One paranoid banker even put together an intricate spreadsheet that handicapped co-workers’ likely bonuses.
It all became fodder for what Chatwani calls his “consummate banker caricature.” The site’s first post told the tale of two gold-digging Jersey girls coming to Manhattan on a hell-bent mission for their dream bankers. “It got read way more than I had ever expected,” he says. Lately, he’s been poking fun at young bankers’ penchant for exorbitant bottle service at nightclubs.
The Borat of Wall Street [Business Week]
Interesting article in the November 13 issue BusinessWeek, wherein our minds are blown by one– and we’re just going to come out and say it– crazy idea:
In business, people tend to gravitate to golfers for some reason.