WSJ owns the Lehman Brothers story
The Deal executive editor Yvette Kantrow writes about how The Wall Street Journal has been out ahead of all of the other business media, particularly The New York Times business section, in covering the Lehman Brothers story.
Kantrow writes, “In a page A1 scoop on June 3, the WSJ broke the news that the investment bank, which has been battling persistent rumors of its pending demise, is considering raising $3 billion to $4 billion in new capital to shore up its balance sheet. The story not only sent Lehman Brothers shares down nearly 10%, but was quickly followed by a slew of media outlets — Reuters, Portfolio.com, BusinessWeek.com, to name just a few.
“The WSJ itself further advanced the ball the next day with two more pieces, reporting that Lehman might look overseas for fresh capital and speculating on possible buyers.
“Against this backdrop, we were eager to see how the WSJ’s archrival, The New York Times, would come back on the Lehman story on June 4 after suffering a clear defeat the day before. Well, come back it did — with a story the Journal had covered back on, let’s see, May 23.
“That’s right. The Times on June 4 devoted a large swath of its business section front page to the ‘battle’ between short-seller David Einhorn and Lehman CFO Erin Callan — a story that had already run nearly two weeks earlier, not only in the WSJ, but on Portfolio.com and on Thomson Reuters ‘ HedgeWorld. (Portfolio.com had the best headline of the bunch: ‘An Einhorn in Her Side.’ ) The pieces all followed a speech by Einhorn to an investor conference on May 21 in which he took Callan to task for how Lehman values certain assets.”
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