OLD Media Moves

Marketwatch reporter violates terms of investment deal?

April 6, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

A Wall Street Journal reporter wrote Friday that Marketwatch columnist Bambi Francisco apparently violated the terms of her agreement with the online business news web site by writing about companies in her column that use the service of the company she has a stake in.

Bambi FranciscoMatthew Karnitschnig wrote, “In a note prepared for employees last night, in the wake of CNET’s article, Mr. Callaway said he approved the investment on the condition that Ms. Francisco ‘not write about that company, its investors, or the companies using Vator.tv.’

“Despite those conditions, Ms. Francisco on Jan. 25 posted an interview with an executive of Web company PreFound, which had previously posted a video on Vator.TV. On March 20, she wrote a brief item about a company called Helio, which had uploaded a video on Vator.TV in September of last year.

“On Jan. 10, Ms. Francisco wrote a blog post for MarketWatch about Friendster, a social-networking site. On Jan. 14, Friendster posted a video on Vator.TV.

“Ms. Francisco has also written about Mr. Thiel, mentioning in one article last November that he had joined the board of a company called Powerset. She wrote about Powerset again in February. She has also written about Facebook, a company in which Mr. Thiel has invested.

“In his note, Mr. Callaway said Ms. Francisco had agreed not to ‘use her MarketWatch credentials to promote Vator.TV or the companies using it.’ Yet on her personal blog — bambi.blogs.com — she makes regular mention of her affiliation with both MarketWatch and Vator.TV.

“The timing of her investment in Vator.TV isn’t clear, although a report about her involvement with the company appeared on a blog, Valleywag, last November.

“Ms. Francisco referred all questions to a MarketWatch spokeswoman. The spokeswoman declined to comment beyond Mr. Callaway’s statement.”

Read more here.

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