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Long Live the New CEO!

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The media reports nothing less effectively than a changing of the guard. When a new CEO marches in, they are either worshipful -- see Yahoo! (YHOO), J.C. Penney (JCP) and plenty more -- or merely deliver the bare bones facts, like what the new guy will get paid and how the stock reacted to the announcement.

Comically, we are often told the new CEO is going to spend months "listening to stakeholders." For a trader, such information is useless. Before all else, a trader needs to know: what's this Newjack's best -- and worst -- attribute?

Check out coverage of Barclays (BCS), the beleaguered bank, which just announced that they were filling their vacant corner office with Anthony Jenkins, their former head of retail banking. From Reuters to The New York Times, you get little more than resume fill-out on Jenkins, from his education background to that salary.

Here's knee-slapper: CNBC gave us an article on the planned Jenkins listening tour: "New Barclays CEO's 'Root and Branch Review.'"

The Wall Street Journal, by contrast, does a trader's soul some good.

With his consumer background, the Journal noted, Jenkins presence leaves glaring open questions about the scandal-plagued bank's enormous investment-banking arm.

But there is potential positive too, as the Journal also pointed out: "installing a mild-mannered Brit to replace the sometimes-brash American" could help the bank with European regulators.

The guard has changed. We all know the new guard is going to be paid and prattle on about listening. But most importantly, his presence means possible good -- and bad.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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