Maven: Press Stays Even-Handed on Decker
After saying for the better part of the past week that the business media were writing with washrags over their eyes when it came to Pfizer (PFE), I feel a peculiar responsibility to give the fatheads a supporting lift.
Well, the fatheads made it easy, at least in the early portion of this morning, by writing about Yahoo!'s (YHOO) deck-reshuffling with some uncharacteristic restraint and perspective.
Normally, as you know, The Business Press Maven believes the business media do a special disservice to investors when they get too excited about a management change or single prominent person entering a business' picture, even when that business is as purportedly cutting-edge as satellite radio and the person is the renowned Fartman.
As a basic writing method, personality-driven journalism works well. It is very readable. But from an investor's perspective, it holds good thought captive to cult-of-personality nonsense.It takes a long time for any single person or management to improve a business, if they ever can. But there is probably nothing that loses the average investor more money than chasing after the sort of stock-price pops that come from excited white-knight coverage like what we saw when Howard Stern came to Sirius (SIRI) late last year. Fortunately in this case, though, Yahoo! is putting different people in prominent spots, and coverage has been appropriately muted. This is probably because the move involves a less-than-sexy bureaucratic shuffle of departments -- and the head Fred remains the same. But there is another factor in play at Yahoo!, and it's one that consistently throws off business journalists, leading investors astray.
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