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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Today is Friday, October 24, 2014

Financial Media


Michael Lewis’ ‘Flash Boys’ shows SEC must revise high frequency trading rules

High frequencty trading on the stock exchanges has become a very controversial issue for Wall Street and speculators. Last week, Michael Lewis published his new book, Flash Boys, and took the debate to a new level. I've watched CNBC and Fox Business TV interviews and discussions and read stories about the debate and the book, but I haven't read the book yet. In response to a story on Politico.com this morning, I thought about the issue and decided the market is probably more manipulated than rigged. And I see the deals the exchanges give HFT funds as the same as the volume discounts Walmart and the Federal government get from their vendors. But the Securities and Exchange Commission, which wrote the rules that guide HFT funds, needs to update them. My thoughts:

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 04/05/14 at 09:43 AM
EthicsTrustMediaFinancial MediaMutual FundsSpeculationTrading StylesStocksTechnology • (0) CommentsRead More

Will GE sell all or part of its PR departments, NBC, CNBC and MSNBC?

Rumors that General Electric (GE) will sell all or part of NBC Universal if its joint partner, Vivendi SA, wants out are important not only to GE’s employees and shareholders, but also to the company’s critics who see its NBC, CNBC and MSNBC networks as extensions of its government relations and public relations departments.

GE is a vocal backer of President Obama’s climate control and green initiatives because the company stands to make billions if it wins government contracts generated by politically charged programs designed to spread pork and green jobs around the country.

The company’s use of MSNBC and CNBC to advance these causes and butter up the Obama administration is particularly blatant in the eyes of most critics.

Click on head for rest of the story.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 10/01/09 at 07:55 AM
ColoradoPoliticsMediaFinancial MediaMarketing and SalesPublic RelationsStocksRead More

Richard Cohen calls on Jon Stewart to mock himself, not James Cramer

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen calls Jon Stewarts “cheap shots” on James Cramer out of line and calls on the Daily Show’s comedian to mock himself.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/17/09 at 11:53 AM
MediaFinancial MediaPermalink

Jon Stewart shows his pro-Obama bias

Mark Hemingway does a nice job of summarizing the Cramer v. Stewart fiasco.

 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/15/09 at 08:58 PM
MediaFinancial MediaPermalink

James Cramer wonders at the Obama team’s “thin skins;” he also has problems with Bush

James Cramer has attacked President Obama’s destruction of wealth, much as he attacked President Bush’s cluelessness last year.

In this interesting article, Cramer expresses his surprise at the thin skins of the Obama team. He shouldn’t be surprised, because Obama has had a thin skin since he began his presidential campaign. Cramer also responds to his liberal critics, Frank Rich and Jon Stewart.

Stock market sophisticates mock Cramer’s show, Mad Money, and I have, too. But his online articles show that he’s a clear thinker and knows the markets and economics.

Great insights and entertaining.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/09/09 at 10:16 PM
EconomyMediaFinancial MediaSpeculationGurusStocksPermalink

Why CNBC is touting market bottom

Larry Kudlow is on CNBC touting the market’s bottom, which is in no way certain.

Now this is nothing new. Kudlow is an irritatingly permanent bull.

And I’m not questioning his motives, but I do question the integrity of CNBC, which needs bull markets to bring in and keep its advertisers.

Proof? Look at The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek and Barron’s.

Skinny is putting it mildly. They have very few

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 03/04/09 at 05:27 PM
MediaFinancial MediaRead More

What will replace metro daily newspapers, mass communications?

The more I think about the death of metro newspapers, the more I try to figure out what entrepreneurs will come up with to replace them.

We’re seeing more than the death of metro dailies. We’re seeing the end of so called “mass communications.”

While consumers are spending less time reading newspapers and the national networks’ nightly news programs, they’re spending more time searching for more news about the iPhone, Apple, Dell, specific hi-tech games and toys and their professions, employers and industries.

And the internet allows Yahoo, MSN, Google, craigslist.com, eBay, Monster.com, careers.com and many other pay-per-click and auction sites to put readers in touch with advertisers who want to reach them.

So if you have a clean sheet of paper, $300 million in venture capital from investors who won’t put you deep in debt, what kind of business would you create to help advertisers reach their prospects and customers and consumers to find what they want to buy, keep informed about and discuss?

Would you follow CNN, which is considering taking on the Associated Press and Reuters, which are the primary national news providers?

Would you try to create a local news and advertising vehicle that focuses on community news and merchants rather than trying to cover a whole metro area?

Would you create an all news and commentary sight like a blog and count on readership that would make running Google’s Adsense profitable?

Or would you create an all advertising business that goes after local niches such as entertainment, foods, real estate, autos, sports and health care?

Maybe you’d try to do all of the above. If you could pull it off, you might have a local monopoly that would be close to legal. If you did parts of the service poorly, you could fail.

Who will be the first movers? Who will let others innovate and then come along with a better business plan? Who will be the Dairy Queen and who will be the McDonald’s, the Sears vs. the Walmart?

McDonald’s and Walmart are successful not because they invented fast food restaurants or retail discounting, but because they executed their plans so much better than their competitors.

In the communications world, the next big idea is still to emerge, much less a McDonald’s or a Walmart.

We still have the old fashioned, ancient, obsolete mass communications companies trying to re-invent themselves. We’ve yet to see a real innovator that will take us to the next generation beyond newspapers, network news, nightly news, weekly magazines, blogs and social networks.

I’m thinking the new communications entrepreneurs will begin to make their moves during the next 36 to 60 months. With the economy and credit markets in the dumps, the time is ripe.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/29/08 at 10:08 PM
e-commerceEconomyMediaFinancial MediaNewspapersMarketing and SalesAdvertisingPermalink

No bailouts for Tribune, NYT, Miami Herald,  Enquirer, News, Rocky Mountain News

Many of the nation’s leading newspaper publishers are on the verge of bankruptcy and are making drastic moves to deal with the continuing credit crisis and the long-time shrinking of their classified advertising markets.

So far, unlike the financial, housing and auto industries, nobody is recommending government bailouts for major media companies.

The Tribune Co., publishers of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, today filed for bankruptcy. And, The International Herald Tribune adds, “The companies that own The Inquirer and The Daily News in Philadelphia and The Star Tribune in Minneapolis recently suspended debt payments but have not filed for bankruptcy.”

Reuters reports that the New York Times plans to borrow up to $225 million “against its mid-Manhattan headquarters building, to ease a potential cash flow squeeze as the company grapples with tighter credit and shrinking profits, the New York Times reported on its website Monday.”

Two major papers are on the block, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Miami Herald. Sacramento Business Journal reports, “Financially strapped McClatchy Co. is attempting to shed The Miami Herald, one of its largest and most-respected newspapers, according to news reports.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is also being mentioned as being in financial trouble. It recently asked its unions for $20 million in cuts to help it meet its long-term debt obligations.

Gannett (GCI), publisher of USAToday and some 85 papers in the U.S., is being watched for signs of more cost savings moves. It reportedly already is in the process of cutting 2,000 jobs.

Here are daily charts for newspaper publishers, including GCI, NYT, MNI, LEE, WPO, MEG,  SSP, TCMI, MDP and NWS. One-year views are here. Click on a chart for more views.

I don’t own any of these stocks.

For educational purposes only. Investigate before you speculate. I am not recommending any trades and take no responsibility for how others trade stocks, ETFs, commodities or anything else.

 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/08/08 at 08:24 AM
EconomyMediaFinancial MediaNewspapersMarketing and SalesAdvertisingStocksPermalink

Rocky Mountain News is for sale; how can newspapers make money?

Chicago’s American, The Chicago Daily News and The New York Herald Tribune all failed while I was a young reporter at The Wall Street Journal and Chicago Sun-Times.

Newspapers fail every year for various reasons.

Last week, the owners of our Rocky Mountain News announced that it is for sale.

This probably means that large display advertisers will quickly drop the Rocky and that it will close early next year. No buyers are in sight at the moment, but miracles do happen.

The Rocky’s innovative and unusually communicative editor and publisher, John Temple, laments here. Note the comments by readers who are mostly unsympathetic and unhappy with newspapers in general.

Today, newspapers, which historically have been among the most profitable businesses, are failing because their business models have been rendered ancient by the Internet.

The question that newspaper industry executives and consultants haven’t answered is, what will make papers viable?

That some very smart people haven’t come up with a real answer tells how difficult the question is. So the still surviving publishers are holding on for dear life, hoping that their slide in advertising market share will bottom out at a level that allows them to be at least modestly profitable and relevant.

I have a few thoughts. None, new, I assume.

Newspapers are tanking due to their loss of most of their classified advertising to eBay, craigslist.com and various jobs and auto sites on the Internet.

Classifieds historically have attracted almost as many readers as business news stories and the comics. Almost 39 years ago, a couple of bright young guys in Chicago started the Weekly Reader, which allowed anyone to publish classifieds FREE. They made a fortune, publishing one great feature a week along with a few fillers and hundreds of ads.

Even today, alternative weeklies are filled with ads and one or two interesting stories. I’m not sure they’re thriving. Indeed I think some are hurting.

But they present a business model that daily newspapers might adapt.

Print free classifieds for individuals. Charge affordable prices for commercial and job ads. Craigslist charges $15.

Since the Internet has a tough time beating local display ads published in newspapers, wrap the classifieds around the display ads. 

Cut editorial costs to the bone while increasing readership of the paper and its related web site.

Publish one or two major investigative and trend pieces a day. You might also publish comics and puzzles that aren’t easily accessible on the net. Publish briefs on national, local, sports and business news with refers to the paper’s web site. Make sure all stories include tons of links to source materials and related stories. Keep it simple.

Invite all governmental agencies to submit their news releases and related propaganda. Group by town, county and school district. Publish the lede graphs in the paper. Publish the whole thing on the paper’s website. Open every item to comment by readers. They would provide the content that people would want to read.

Support this venture by selling affordable advertising to local merchants. Some would buy links to their web sites. Others would buy banner ads and text ads and others would buy display ads in the paper.

Automate ad sales, letting customers buy the ads on the web site. Advertisers would be responsible for writing, editing and submitting ads ready for publication on the web and/or in the paper. Payment would be by credit card, improving cash flow and collections as well as profitability.

Buy the software and systems needed to make the business work. Self-development is a huge waste of money. Not invented here is stupid.

To survive, newspapers have to make money on display ads and circulation. This means they have to cut editorial and advertising sales and admin costs while producing products that serve some need that can’t and won’t be served by the Internet. While millions of us read most of our news online, we still like to read newspapers and subscribe to them. That fewer people read newspapers means that they have to be made attractive to those who do read them and to advertisers who want to reach newspaper readers.

Solving this puzzle won’t be easy. I don’t know of a major paper that has adjusted to the new market.

The smartest or luckiest publishers are those that serve small communities, cover local news well and attract local advertisers. But even Gannett which owns some 85 papers, mostly in small towns, is hurting. So who knows.

Just some thoughts by a frustrated journalist, newspaper junky and entrepreneur.

Comment here.

 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/06/08 at 11:48 AM
EconomyEthicsTrustMediaFinancial MediaNewspapersMarketing and SalesAdvertisingPermalink

Forbes Magazine’s 2009 stock pickers are bullish on 12 stocks and bearish on 5

Forbes Magazine’s 2009 stock picking contestants are recommending 12 stocks as buys and 5 as shorts. The players are highly regarded securities analysts who are putting their reputations on the line, and their choices should be taken seriously. The 17 stocks in the 2009 contest are shown here.

The 12 bullish picks are DGIT, ERES, ZLC, OMCL, SPG, WAT, ENDP, CSCO, CPRT, HOTT, NCI and NOV. The five shorts, which speculators would sell expecting to buy them back at lower prices, are PH, LAMR, VLKAY, CAT and LVS.

Daily charts for this year’s bullish picks are here and here. Charts for the short sellers’ bets are here. Stockcharts doesn’t show a chart for Volkswagen, but Marketwatch.com has one here. (Forbes isn’t the most reader friendly pub. It doesn’t provide the stock symbols for the stocks it lists.)

But know that even professional analysts have their good and bad years. Of the 17 contestants this year, only one bull picked a winning stock, which was up 50%, another broke even and the other 10 picked big losers. The short sellers all were big winners, thanks to the huge drop in the overall market in Black 2008. The 2008 Forbes contest stocks are shown here.

If I were playing these stocks right now, which, except for CAT, I’m not, this is what I would do:

1. Look at the charts. Click on the ones that look bullish to see whether the weekly and point and figure charts also looked bullish.
2. Research each stock on Morningstar.com. Standard & Poor’s, http://www.finance.yahoo.com, www.reuters.com and on your online broker’s site. Make sure you like the fundamentals.
3. I’d favor the stocks that pay dividends, if possible.
4. I’d favor the stocks that offer good returns on covered call options trades, but I might speculate on some of them without hedging them.
5. Look at the overall market. At this point, it favors the shorts, and being bearish, I’d focus on the shorts more than the longs at this time.
6. If any of the picks looked attractive, I’d trade them.
7. In this volatile market, I’d put a 7% to 10% stop on any positions. That is, if the stock went 7% to 8% against me, I’d close it and take my loss. If the position worked, I’d be most likely to take a 15% or 20% profit on a long position and a 20% profit on a short position.

Just one person’s approach. What’s important is to have a trading plan.

Of the stocks mentioned above, I own CAT.

For educational purposes only. Investigate before you speculate. I am not recommending any trades and take no responsibility for how others trade stocks, ETFs, commodities or anything else.


Review Dennis Gartman’s trading rules

Dennis Gartman frequently appears on CNBC’s “Fast Money” and its other shows because he’s a trading guru who makes money trading and publishing highly-regarded newsletter.

Several sites are republishing his trading rules, which are similar to Bill O’Neil’s 20 trading rules. Here they are:

1. Never, Ever, Ever, Under Any Circumstance, Add to a Losing Position… not ever, not never! Adding to losing positions is trading’s carcinogen; it is trading’s driving while intoxicated. It will lead to ruin. Count on it!

2. Trade Like a Wizened Mercenary Soldier: We must fight on the winning side, not on the side we may believe to be correct economically.

3. Mental Capital Trumps Real Capital: Capital comes in two types, mental and real, and the former is far more valuable than the latter. Holding losing positions costs measurable real capital, but it costs immeasurable mental capital.

4. This Is Not a Business of Buying Low and Selling High; it is, however, a business of buying high and selling higher. Strength tends to beget strength, and weakness, weakness.

5. In Bull Markets One Can Only Be Long or Neutral, and in bear markets, one can only be short or neutral. This may seem self-evident; few understand it however, and fewer still embrace it.

6. “Markets Can Remain Illogical Far Longer Than You or I Can Remain Solvent.” These are Keynes’ words, and illogic does often reign, despite what the academics would have us believe.

7. Buy Markets That Show the Greatest Strength; Sell Markets That Show the Greatest Weakness: Metaphorically, when bearish we need to throw rocks into the wettest paper sacks, for they break most easily. When bullish we need to sail the strongest winds, for they carry the farthest.

8. Think Like a Fundamentalist; Trade Like a Simple Technician: The fundamentals may drive a market and we need to understand them, but if the chart is not bullish, why be bullish? Be bullish when the technicals and fundamentals, as you understand them, run in tandem.

9. Trading Runs in Cycles, Some Good, Most Bad: Trade large and aggressively when trading well; trade small and ever smaller when trading poorly. In “good times,” even errors turn to profits; in “bad times,” the most well-researched trade will go awry. This is the nature of trading; accept it and move on.

10. Keep Your Technical Systems Simple: Complicated systems breed confusion; simplicity breeds elegance. The great traders we’ve known have the simplest methods of trading. There is a correlation here!

11. In Trading/Investing, An Understanding of Mass Psychology Is Often More Important Than an Understanding of Economics: Simply put, “When they are cryin’, you should be buyin’! And when they are yellin’, you should be sellin’!”

12. Bear Market Corrections Are More Violent and Far Swifter Than Bull Market Corrections: Why they are is still a mystery to us, but they are; we accept it as fact and we move on.

13. There Is Never Just One Cockroach: The lesson of bad news on most stocks is that more shall follow… usually hard upon and always with detrimental effect upon price, until such time as panic prevails and the weakest hands finally exit their positions.

14. Be Patient with Winning Trades; Be Enormously Impatient with Losing Trades: The older we get, the more small losses we take each year… and our profits grow accordingly.

15. Do More of That Which Is Working and Less of That Which Is Not: This works in life as well as trading. Do the things that have been proven of merit. Add to winning trades; cut back or eliminate losing ones. If there is a “secret” to trading (and of life), this is it.

16. All Rules Are Meant To Be Broken…. but only very, very infrequently. Genius comes in knowing how truly infrequently one can do so and still prosper.

Hat tip to market folly.

Gartman Letter is here.

 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/23/08 at 11:51 AM
SpeculationGurusTrading StylesStocksFinancial MediaPermalink

How to keep up with the markets and financial crisis

A quick web surf this morning shows there are a lot of stories and blogs on the housing market and how the expected continued decline in housing prices, still frozen credit markets and fear of more economic problems are keeping home buyers and mortgage lenders from re-entering the home markets.

In uncertain times, it’s hard to keep up with all of the news and predictions. Here are some of the ways I do it.

First, of course, I read the papers and check out http://www.reuters.com, www.wsj.com, http://www.morningstar.com, www.stockcharts.com and other financial news sites for the latest stories and commentary.

Search the web for:

• Housing market
• Housing prices
• Mortgage market
• Financial bailout

Here are some blogs I’m watching:

‚Ä¢ The Money Meltdown, a new blog created to track the financial crisis. I can’t figure out who’s writing it, but it offers a lot of interesting links to articles about previous financial crises and about how individuals should protect themselves.

‚Ä¢ The Marginal Revolution is a blog by a couple of established economists who are commenting on current markets and linking to and evaluating other economists’ articles and blogs. Read the very thoughtful comments by readers.

‚Ä¢ Seeking Alpha publishes commentary from professional economists, stock pickers and blogger like me. It’s a great place to find commentary and predictions about the financial markets and individual stocks. You can spend all day reading posts at Seeking Alpha. If you like a writer’s contribution, click on a link to her or his web site.

• The Big Picture offers good insights and numerous current links. Lots of interesting comments by readers.

So now you know where I’m coming from. My focus is on investing and the outlook for the markets in the current environment. I can play the blame game as well as anyone, but now it’s a waste of time. For me, the question is, where do I put my money and when?

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 10/05/08 at 06:58 AM
EconomyFinancial MediaFinancial Web SitesPermalink

Double check stocks recommended on TV shows

If you listen to the talking heads on cable TV’s stock market shows, double check their recommendations by looking at their fundamentals at Yahoo.com, Reuters.com, Google.com or wsj.com. And then look at the recommended stocks’ charts.

On Friday and Saturday, the eight stocks shown on these daily charts were touted on CNBC and Fox News.

Of the eight touted stocks, only TOL has a decently bullish daily chart, which shows it is trading above its 20- 50- and 200-day moving averages and that its moving average convergence divergence (MACD) oscillator is positive. It’s bullish price objective on its point and figure chart is $30. The stock closed Friday at $24.20.
Fundamentally, the housing market is in the tank and will be for months, if not years, but speculators seem to be optimistic about this stock.

GM and DV have very modestly bullish daily charts, but taken as a whole, their technicals are mixed.

The other five recommended stocks look pretty bearish on their daily charts.

Even if all of these stocks are cheap and look like great buys to the folks on TV, it makes no sense to buy them while they are going down or are acting weak. Only buy stocks with strong fundamentals and technicals, and it’s best to buy only in bull markets. We’re in a bear market now.

Thus, while Toll Brothers’ technicals are strong, the housing outlook and the current bear market are flashing “wait” signals.

I own covered calls on GM.

For educational purposes only. Investigate before you speculate.

 

 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 09/06/08 at 08:08 PM
SpeculationTechnical AnalysisStocksFinancial MediaPermalink

Has The Wall Street Journal gone down hill or just reduced its business coverage?

Critics who most likely supporting “change” in Washington are lamenting the changes that Rupert Murdoch is making in The Wall Street Journal, which he bought last year.

The NY Times’ Joe Nocera started the latest round of commentary here. Be sure to read the comments, which for the most part, are being made by liberals who fear the rise of a conservative national daily that covers politics better than the mainstream papers like the Times. Hat tip to Felix Salmon at portfolio.com.

My posted comment, which I’m posting here so I have a copy of it:

I began reading my dad’s WSJ in the ’50s and began my journalism career there in the ’60s. And I’ve always subscribed. The Journal’s political coverage is better reported and written than anything I see elsewhere, and I read a lot. At times, it’s just too much politics, even for this politics junky. Yet, the WSJ is a more interesting source of political news than the NYT, and WP. And its blogs allow immediate comment by smart people. Business coverage is changing. I’m seeing more analytical market reports, a bit more opinionated and even advisory stories. It’s not the Investor’s Business Daily, but it has moved in that direction. I, too, miss the page one stories, but they often appealed to insiders. The paper is more populist now. The editorial page has little credibility or integrity, what with it’s support for illegal immigration and amnesty, and the Personal Journal has gone flat. Barron’s is pretty good, but http://www.seekingalpha.com is much better for stock pickers and investors. There is better data in IBD and at http://www.investors.com. BusinessWeek has swung left and become irrelevant. FT and Economist are big picture pubs, generally useless for investors. Forbes, Portfolio, Fortune seldom offer anything worth reading.

Daily charts for News Corp. (NWS) and New York Times (NYT) are here. Both have bearish point and figure chart price objectives.

I don’t have positions in either stock. Investigate before you speculate.

 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 09/03/08 at 03:12 PM
Financial MediaPermalink

Apple’s (AAPL) Steve Jobs leaks news his cancer hasn’t come back, but he has other health problems

Look for Apple’s stock to jump a few bucks Monday on the news leaked to the New York Times by Steve Jobs himself that his rare form of pancreatic cancer hasn’t returned as rumored. But he confirmed to the Times’ Joe Nocera that he has had surgery for some kind of stomach problems and and some post operation complications that people noticed when he appeared in public last month. The story is here.

After recounting the rumors about Jobs’ health, the speculation that Apple’s stock (AAPL) would drop as much as 25% if he were to leave unexpectedly and a little history of how other CEOs have disclosed and not told shareholders about their serious illnesses, Nocera drops the bomb in these concluding graphs:

On Thursday afternoon, several hours after I’d gotten my final “Steve’s health is a private matter” — and much to my amazement — Mr. Jobs called me. “This is Steve Jobs,” he began. “You think I’m an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he’s above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.” After that rather arresting opening, he went on to say that he would give me some details about his recent health problems, but only if I would agree to keep them off the record. I tried to argue him out of it, but he said he wouldn’t talk if I insisted on an on-the-record conversation. So I agreed.

Because the conversation was off the record, I cannot disclose what Mr. Jobs told me. Suffice it to say that I didn’t hear anything that contradicted the reporting that John Markoff and I did this week. While his health problems amounted to a good deal more than “a common bug,” they weren’t life-threatening and he doesn’t have a recurrence of cancer. After he hung up the phone, it occurred to me that I had just been handed, by Mr. Jobs himself, the very information he was refusing to share with the shareholders who have entrusted him with their money.

You would think he’d want them to know before me. But apparently not.

Nocera does a good job of covering the ethics of Jobs’ secretiveness about his health. He doesn’t discuss the ethics of allowing Jobs to go off the record with him, and he doesn’t directly discuss the deal they made that allowed him to break his big scoop.

Having been in such situations as a reporter and as a source, but not anywhere near as important stories as this one, I can speculate about how the conversation probably went.

Jobs said he wanted to talk off the record. No reporter wants to go off the record, but many do, as Nocera did in this case.

Off the record means none of the information disclosed can be reported. The reporter is supposed to use the information to help him dig into the story and to keep his facts straight.

Not for attribution means a reporter can use the information disclosed without attributing it to the person who is being interviewed.

Nocera’s interview with Jobs was both off the record and not for attribution. They obviously agreed on what would be off the record, and what would be disclosed but not directly attributed to Jobs. During the interview, Jobs obviously shot down the rumors that his pancreatic cancer has returned, and he confirmed that he’s had surgery and suffered from some complications.

That he doesn’t have cancer was the big and important news that Jobs wanted Nocera to publish on Sunday when the markets were closed without attributing it to him. Done deal.

That Jobs has had surgery and complications was rumored. Nocera already had that information. His conversation with Jobs confirmed those rumors and he reported them. Nocera probably wouldn’t have reported the rumors the way he does in this story if Jobs hadn’t given him the confidence to do so.

So this is first, a big news story about Jobs’ health. It’s a market mover.

Second, this is an ethics story. It shows how business ethics converges with journalistic ethics.

And third, this is a public relations story. Jobs is one of the most PR savvy CEOs around. He knows the PR game and how to manipulate the media, analysts, shareholders, customers, employees and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jobs obviously concluded that the line that his health is “a private matter” could no longer stand. The pressure from investors, his advisors and his board to be more forthcoming was just too great.

But, as always, Jobs had to do it his way. He didn’t reinvent the wheel with his approach, but he certainly has made sure the world knows that he is Apple and that he’s cancer free at the moment, if not without health problems.

I don’t own AAPL.

For educational purposes only. Investigate before you speculate.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 07/27/08 at 07:26 AM
EthicsTrustMarketing and SalesPublic RelationsStocksFinancial MediaPermalink
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