Be like Bieber: Never ever say never. Ever

A recent item on Talking Biz News featured an anonymous former investment banker saying that “markets never move in response to a rating agency change….Never. Ever.” The ex-banker went on to intimate that you could spot a clueless business journalist if he or she ascribes a market move to a rating agency change. Well, maybe […]

Pick your battles, Tesla and New York Times

The gloves came off last week after the New York Times hammered Tesla Motors’ Model S car in an article. Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk used data logged by the car to conduct a point-to-point rebuttal of the negative review. The donnybrook was, if not enjoyable, unusual. Rarely does a CEO go to such […]

Companies in glass houses…you know the rest

Hewlett-Packard Co. reacted swiftly to the news that Dell was going private in a $24.4 billion buyout. “Dell has a very tough road ahead,” the company said in a statement it issued. “Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers an innovation at the curb.” Now, I know these two companies have a history of sparring […]

Let’s stop using the word “exclusive” for our stories

The other night I sat down to read and watch the news – and the big story of the day was Lance Armstrong’s doping admission. First up for me was a venerable New York-based financial-centric newspaper who basically said they knew it all along, after all they had reported first in an “exclusive” that Lance’s […]

Who got the story right on the Bangladesh factory fire?

Last Wednesday, on a flight to Washington DC, I read an article in both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times about the horrific fire in Bangladesh two weeks ago in which 112 people died in a factory producing clothes for Wal-Mart. Both articles were respectful of the tragedy and the magnitude of the […]

Key lessons from the campaign trail

There are numerous public relations lessons that corporate America can glean from the presidential campaign. There was the role of social media.  Don’t alienate a core constituency (or customer base). It’s not all about advertising spending.  The list is long. I want to focus on what I think are the three most important lessons that […]

Just be transparent about it

A growing trend in journalism revolves around branded or sponsored content — individuals or companies pay to place their editorial creations alongside the “real” journalism. It’s not new; advertorials have been around for a while. But more and more websites are allowing it — even some run by major news organizations — and the line […]

What is Jack Welch not telling us?

Jack Welch, the storied former CEO of General Electric, went out on a limb last week and insinuated that the Obama Administration somehow manipulated  the U.S. employment data for his political benefit. He wrote a tweet to that effect and then on Wednesday wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, defending the “stink” he […]

Quartz is nice, but it’s not a must read

There are many reasons that I really, really want to like Quartz, Atlantic Media’s new business website.  First of all, I like the magazine — which is usually very well written and full of unexpected and provocative points of view. Second, of all, well, it’s business news and in a world full of journalistic shrinkage, […]

Do colleges collude on price?

I’ve been reading a lot about college education these days—in part, because newspaper financial sections seem full of articles on the topic. In addition, I recently became an official college tuition payer and will drop my freshman off at college next week. What am I reading? Well, there’s a healthy debate about whether college education […]