OLD Media Moves

WSJ/Dow Jones names new staffers in Chicago

November 4, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires Chicago bureau chief Jason Dean sent out the following staff email on Monday afternoon:


We’re excited to announce a number of recent appointments in the Chicago Bureau’s food and flying extravaganza.

Jacob Bunge joins the bureau’s agriculture/food team tomorrow to write about agribiz companies including Monsanto, Cargill, ADM, Tyson – and, of course, Bunge Ltd. (no relation). Already based in Chicago, Jacob has distinguished himself covering financial exchanges and trading during a tumultuous time–he started at Dow Jones the day Lehman Bros filed for bankruptcy. He’s broken stories on subjects including a regulatory probe into the biggest U.S. options exchange, the implosions of MF Global and Peregrine Financial, and the merger that formed the 2nd biggest U.S. stock-market operator. He has also covered a string of market breakdowns, exposed gaming in cheap stocks that triggered a clampdown by regulators, and documented the dance moves of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler. In his spare time, he enjoys skateboarding (except when it resulted in a broken arm, which made typing harder) and hauling his wife and two small children by train to see Steely Dan.

Tony Dreibus is our new agriculture commodities reporter covering the grains markets and all that springs from them. Tony joined us in September from Bloomberg News, where he covered ag and other commodities for seven years in Chicago and London. Prior to that, he was the features editor at DTN Ag News and before that was managing editor of five community newspapers in suburban Omaha. A Cornhusker born and raised, Tony remains a fan of University of Nebraska sports, and an athlete himself, playing baseball in a summer “old-man’s league” and participating in marathons and triathlons, along with his even more competitive-minded Canadian wife.

Jesse Newman joins us to cover agriculture policy and economics. She brings a diverse background to the role, having worked for several years in the NGO sphere overseas before settling in New York City as a photographer and writer, contributing to publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Time, Newsday, First Alaskans Magazine and even Incisal Edge (a lifestyle magazine for dental professionals). In May, she completed her masters degree at Columbia University’s journalism school, after which she began a highly successful internship in the WSJ Chicago Bureau that included ag-related features on A3, B1 and C1, as well as an A-hed on Avon, Ohio’s annual Duct Tape Festival. She starts Nov. 18.

Kelsey Gee joined the ag team full-time in July, focused on livestock markets and the meat industry, after her successful stint on the beat on a temporary basis over the previous year. Kelsey joined the Journal in 2012 as an intern with the real estate bureau in New York, where she wrote about retirees losing their homes because of property-tax liens, and about flood insurance for 12th floor Brooklyn condo-dwellers. She is an avid hip hop music fan who spends her free time cooking, looking for excuses to drink nice whiskey, and doing yoga. Kelsey graduated from the University of Chicago, where she studied political theory.

These four appointments complete the overhaul of the Chicago ag team to enhance the Journal’s enterprise coverage of how we make what we eat. The team will continue to be led by versatile Journal veteran David Kesmodel, in a player-coach role. He reports to Jason.

In addition, Annie Gasparro has joined the Chicago Bureau covering packaged foods and grocery companies including Kraft, Kellogg, Kroger and Whole Foods. Annie moved to Chicago in September from New York, where she began her career at Dow Jones five years ago writing about the impact of the financial crisis on investment advisers at the big banks. She moved in December 2010 to a corporate beat covering restaurants and supermarkets for DJN. Originally from Texas, Annie is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and thus a big fan of Sooner football and TexMex.

Annie works closely with Chicago Bureau veteran Julie Jargon, who is focused on the restaurant companies including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Yum and Darden. Annie and Julie report to Jason.

On the aviation/aerospace side of the Chicago shop, Doug Cameron has taken up coverage of the defense industry. Doug, working with D.C. colleagues who cover defense policy, is zeroing in on the business of big companies including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics at a time when their operations are being roiled by cost cuts and technological changes. Doug will also continue his role as a deputy to Jason for the bureau’s broader aviation coverage, working with ace reporters Susan Carey and Jack Nicas on airlines and Jon Ostrower on Boeing/commercial aerospace.

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