July 01, 2003

 NEW YORK — Journalists from across the nation gathered last night at The Plaza in New York City for the 2003 Gerald Loeb Awards Banquet, celebrating the best of business, financial and economic journalism. The Anderson School at UCLA is celebrating its 30th anniversary presenting the awards. The Loeb Awards, considered among the highest honors in journalism, recognize those journalists whose contributions to the industry illuminate the world of business and finance for readers and viewers around the world.

Bruce Willison, dean of The Anderson School at UCLA and chairman of the G. and R. Loeb Foundation, welcomed Loeb Awards honorees and their guests. Lou Dobbs, anchor and managing editor of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” and a Loeb Awards final judge, served as the master of ceremonies. The Loeb Awards gives two special awards for career contributions, the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent of The New York Times, and the Lawrence Minard Editor Award, which went to Glenn Kramon, business editor of The New York Times. In addition, there are 10 competition categories in which the winners were named at the banquet. Following is the list of 2003 Loeb Awards recipients, along with synopses of their award-winning work.

Small Newspaper Winner
Eric Eyre and Scott Finn of The Charleston Gazette for “A License to Steal,” an example of a small paper taking on the “good ol’ boy” network and getting results. The series kept the pressure on authorities and led to the resignation of a state official, a federal investigator and the cancellation of at least one sweetheart deal. The stories clearly showed how secret deals between old buddies jacked up prices – money that could have gone to student programs.

Medium Newspaper Winner
Deborah O’Neil and Jeff Harrington of the St. Petersburg Times for “The CEO and His Church,” a solid piece of enterprise reporting and investigative journalism. The article was of local news value, providing insight and information. Could other cases be pointed out of “churches” or religions having secretive and influential ties to a public company? We are left wondering.

Large Newspaper Winner
Alec Klein of The Washington Post for “AOL’s Advertising Deals.” Hats off to the Post for backing this reporter’s persistent digging into the accounting practices of America Online despite AOL Time Warner’s effort to derail the story. AOL hired outside lawyers and had its accounting firm re-certify the numbers on nine transactions, but the Post published the stories. The rest is history. AOL has revised its financial results for 2000-2002 and is the subject of two federal probes.

Short Form Television Winner
Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, Chris Vlasto, Jill Rackmill, David Scott, Gerilyn Curtin and Simon Surowicz of ABC News for “Enron Investigation,” which stayed ahead of the pack with exclusive interviews and exclusive video. They were in the right place at the right time – catching the Shredco Truck, catching Enron execs leaving the airport after yet another flight on a corporate jet. The reports exposed a wide range of questionable actions by Enron and at a time when every news organization struggled to follow the Enron story – they led the way.

Long Form Television Winner
Craig Cheatham, Mark Hadler and Andrea Torrence of KMOV-TV, Channel 4 in St. Louis, a CBS affiliate, for “La Oroya, City of Lead.” It is impressive that a local station would take on a tough story about a local company and travel half way around the world to get the goods. In the complexity of the story, the quality of the storytelling and production values, KMOV-TV consistently didn’t just exceed expectations; it blew them away.

Magazines Winner
Hal Lux of Institutional Investor for “Nationalities of Convenience,” an article on corporate offshore corporations that impacted public policy and was “ahead of the curve” on the issue. It prompted follow-up reporting by others and even led to proposed congressional legislation. The piece provided concrete examples and was balanced in its reporting. It was written clearly and succinctly, yet provided an interesting angle on companies who move offshore while touting their American patriotism.

News Services or Online Content Winner
Jon D. Markman of CNBC on MSN Money for “SuperModels.” This is a writer with a clear grasp of his subject who writes with confidence and often looks for the story behind the story. With understandable language the columns break down complicated topics about goodwill, stock valuations and so on, and bring them to life with distinctive and accessible writing.

Commentary Winner
Jerry Flint of Forbes for “Auto Industry Commentary.” Depth of knowledge used as a basis for punchy, concise essays that read easily and entertainingly but convey plenty of new information. The range is narrow – the auto industry – but unexpected niches are explored within it, as well as big patterns. Forthright with opinions that are often bolder than those of many other writers, the columns provoke thought.

Deadline Writing Winner
Rebecca Blumenstein, Gregory Zuckerman, Jared Sandberg, Shawn Young, Susan Pulliam, Deborah Solomon and Carrick Mollenkamp of The Wall Street Journal for “WorldCom’s Whirlwind Demise.” Stories in this package showed the newspaper’s legendary ability to produce excellent journalism under pressure. Coverage included the resignation of Bernard Ebbers as WorldCom CEO – a scoop. Other newspapers did not submit similar articles on this newsworthy event. Also, when a $3.8 billion accounting error was revealed, the Journal’s story contained the tough analysis and gravitas that the competition did not match.

Beat Writing Winner
Stephen Labaton of The New York Times for “Inside the S.E.C.” Harvey Pitt would likely be S.E.C. chairman today if it were not for this reporting, which nailed the most important of Pitt’s potential conflicts and missteps. The story went beyond Pitt’s personal failures to document the impact he had on the agency itself, including the news that President Bush might reduce the promised funding increase for the agency. The reporter dominated his beat and performed accountability journalism at the highest level.

The table sponsors of the 2003 Loeb Awards are as follows:

Golden Circle Patrons
Bloomberg News

Dobbs Group
The New York Times

Smith Barney
Time, Inc.
USA Today

The Wall Street Journal
The Anderson School at UCLA

Silver Sponsors
ABC News
Financial Times

Loeb Associates Sponsors
CBS News
Dow Jones Newswires
The Economist
Institutional Investor
The Washington Post

For the first time, The Loeb Awards hosted a career development seminar for the 2003 Loeb Awards finalists. The event, hosted by Forbes at the Forbes Galleries, featured Dr. Edward Leamer, professor of global economics and management at The Anderson School and director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, who shared his prognostications on the economy. Glenn Kramon and Floyd Norris of The New York Times led a panel discussion entitled, “After the Scandals: What Should the Future of Business Journalism Be?”

Another first for the 2003 Loeb Awards was a gift bag that was given to all attendees. The gift bag sponsors are as follows:

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (“Don’t Kill the Bosses,” a management book on two-sided accountability in organizational relationships)
Financial Times (a silver wine stopper)
Free Press (“At Home in the World,” a book of collected writings of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl)
PR Newswire (the gift bag itself)
Strategy First (“Europa Universalis” and “Hearts of Iron,” two real-time strategy PC-based video games)
USA Today (a travel alarm clock)
The Anderson School at UCLA (an elegant pen)

Established in 1957 by Gerald Loeb, a founding partner of E.F. Hutton, the Loeb Awards recognize journalists who have made significant contributions to the public’s understanding of business, finance and the economy. The judges select winners based on quality of reporting and writing, news and analytical value, originality and exclusivity, and in the broadcast categories only, production value and visual impact. The Anderson School at UCLA has presented the awards since 1973.

For more information about the Loeb Awards, please visit the Loeb Awards Web site at http://loeb.anderson.ucla.edu or call the Loeb Awards office at (310) 206-1877

Media Relations