WSJ’s Baker: Our scoops rock
Scoops remain the lifeblood and raison d’être of any newspaper. They are what makes The Wall Street Journal essential reading. They provide the raw material of news from which we produce the finest analysis and insight in everything from Market Talks to features to extras.
We have had an especially impressive run of exclusives lately, and I want to take a minute to highlight some of the biggest and thank all of the contributors.
The deals team, led by Jamie Heller and Dana Cimilluca, even by its own elevated standards, has been on a tear. In late March, Dana C and Dana Mattioli broke news that 3G, the Brazilian private-equity firm that owns Heinz, was in talks to buy Kraft Foods, a roughly $50 billion tie-up confirmed the next day. Two weeks later, Dana M and Shayndi Raice broke the news of advanced talks between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group, a $70 billion deal also confirmed the next day. Two days later, Dana M, along with Eliot Brown and Ted Mann, reported that GE was close to selling its mammoth real-estate portfolio. Joann Lublin, Dana C and Ted immediately followed with another scoop that GE was shedding nearly all of its finance business, GE Capital.
There have been other big market-moving scoops in business and financial coverage. Earlier this week, David Benoit and Don Clark broke news on Qualcomm when they got an exclusive view of a quarterly letter to Jana Partners investors urging Qualcomm to consider a breakup and other options to boost the chip maker’s sagging stock price. Joann and Ellen Byron broke the news that Avon is considering a sale of the company among other moves, signaling a dismantling of the struggling icon. Avon shares jumped more than 14% on the scoop. On April 1, Annie Gasparro and Eric Morath broke the news of McDonald’s plans to raise pay by more than 10% and add benefits for workers at its 90,000 corporate-owned U.S. restaurants.
Reporters Tom Fairless and Valentina Pop in the Brussels bureau have been ahead of the curve on the EU and its charges against Google, working closely with colleagues including Sam Schechner, Rolfe Winkler and Alistair Barr. Brody Mullins, Rolfe and Brent Kendall also broke the story that key FTC staff wanted to sue Google in the US. Elsewhere in DC, James Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus have been driving a series of stories on the Clinton Foundation and its donations from foreign governments. And Adam Entous set off an international incident with his blockbuster that Israel spied on the Iran nuclear talks.
Jon Kamp and Jennifer Levitz have continued their groundbreaking coverage of the use of the morcellator medical device with stories showing health insurers curbing coverage of the devices while seeking stiffer standards on medical devices. And finally this week, Chris Stewart and Chris Weaver built on the investigative team’s remarkable coverage of Medicare billing by the investigations and health care teams with their scoop that Medicare’s top biller was being indicted by a grand jury.
This is hardly an exhaustive list and it isn’t meant to be. These are just some of the most notable. What’s especially gratifying is how many teams contributed to landing these stories and what a wide range of topics and beats are captured here. In the crowded media landscape, the Journal was cited again and again for its scoops. The work we have published in the last few weeks is a credit to our brilliant journalists and an inspiration to us all.