OLD Media Moves

Bandler says goodbye to WSJ

May 1, 2008

James Bandler, who won a Pulitzer Prize at The Wall Street Journal reporting on the backdating of stock options, said goodbye to his colleagues on Wednesday as he is leaving for a job at Fortune.

James BandlerJeff Bercovici of Conde Nast Portfolio has his farewell e-mail that praised the paper’s investigative stories. In it, Bandler wrote, “Most of my time at the Journal has been spent in Boston, where I have been fortunate to witness some extraordinary journalism. The reporting here has been shepherded by three superb bosses. These editors — Caleb Solomon, Gary Putka, and Mark Maremont — created environments where tough, probing journalism flourished. They also understood that great Journal stories — whether complex corporate probes or powerful narratives — can take weeks, if not months of reporting time.

“But I remember those stories. Like the article for the New England edition of the Journal in 2000 that exposed Boston’s Big Dig as an enormous boondoggle. Written by Geeta Anand and edited by Caleb and the great Larry Rout, the 2,700-word piece began with typical Wall Street Journal understatement: ‘James J. Kerasiotes is not a meek man.’ It was a gutsy story. Geeta’s work ran counter to other media accounts, which had characterized the country’s biggest public works project as a success.

“Then there was Dan Golden‘s powerful series on white affirmative action, edited by Gary Putka. ‘Of the 79 members of the class of 1998 at the Groton School, 34 were admitted to Ivy League universities. Not Henry Park.’ Three thousand words later, Dan had changed millions of Americans’ perceptions of affirmative action.

“My last boss, Mark Maremont, had the foresight to propose the project on stock option manipulations. It took a lot of courage for the paper to run the first story. Our editors made sure that plenty of space was available for ensuing follow-ups.”

Read more here.

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