Steffy: Bloomberg and Cuban a lot alike
Houston Chronicle business columnist Loren Steffy wrote his Friday column about the much-discussed Mark Cuban and his new investigative business journalism web site ShareSleuth.com, comparing Cuban to Michael Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg Financial, whose news service is well-known in the industry.
But, Steffy wrote, there are some important differences between the two media entrepreneurs.
Steffy stated, “Bloomberg learned early on that owning a news operation means setting aside personal agendas. To be credible, his news service might have to write tough stories about some of his biggest customers. Those customers might get angry and cancel their contracts for the financial data terminals that are his company’s lifeblood.
“Bloomberg, who’s now mayor of New York, asked only that his reporters be painstaking in their accuracy.
“Cuban has a different agenda. Using the information Sharesleuth uncovers, he buys or sells stock before the stories are published. His trades are fully disclosed, albeit after the fact.
“This, he says, is a better ‘model’ of news gathering because his site won’t be supported by advertising.”
Later, Steffy concluded, “Cuban simply owns a Web site to flog his own investments. When announcing the venture, he used the headline ‘why journalism matters.’ If Sharesleuth is his answer, it’s clear that what matters to Cuban has nothing to do with journalism.”
Read more here.
Cuban, meanwhile, has continued to argue his position on his BlogMaverick.com web site. On Thursday, he posted an argument for the future of business journalism.
In part, it read: “Hedge Funds, Private investors, Mutual Funds employ analysts by the boatload. They get paid quite nicely. Those analysts spend their waking and probably a good portion of their dreaming moments trying to figure out ways to get an edge that can improve their returns.
“They hire or put on contract, experts, consultants, investigators, anyone who can help them outperform their peers.
“If Sharesleuth is successful, you can bet that any of the above with billions of dollars at stake will gladly hire the best and brightest business journalists they can find. Bigger the rolodex, the better. Old is the new young. Crusty is the new Yuppy. They will unleash those journalists to uncover stories that can give them an edge.
“The process will be amazingly similar to what is happening with Sharesleuth. The jouralist will have more time and probably resources to go out and dig up the really good stuff than they did when they worked in traditional media. They will get to use all the investigative training and contacts they have acquired and accumulated over the years. Whatever skills they think they have, they will be get the enjoyable task of putting them to work. They will be given as many words, paragraphs or pages as it takes to convey the facts of their investigation.”
Read more of Cuban here.