PCNY Luncheon Panel Offers Tips for Pitching Business Media

This post was written by Nancy Lazarus, contributor to PRNewser

Photo: Courtesy of Peter Himler
Left to right:  Andy Hoffman, Fox Business Network; Alisa Roth, American Public Media’s
Marketplace; Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet.com; Lisa Murphy, WNYW-TV; Mark White, Bloomberg TV

At the Publicity Club of New York’s Business News panel lunch on Tuesday, the speakers agreed that interest in business news has remained high ever since the recession.  Gregg Greenberg, reporter at TheStreet.com, said, “Americans have become smarter about finance, and now the average household can understand key economic indicators.”

Each of the panelists gave a brief overview of their business news outlet and offered tips on the types of stories they cover. Details after the jump.

Mark White, executive producer of morning programming at Bloomberg TV, explained, “Bloomberg TV is still the financial channel, but we also want to appeal to business people and aspiring executives.  We’re now also covering areas such as their travel, hobbies and the business of sports.”

He said they want brief pitches targeted at their specific shows, which feature guests and topics ranging from European executives to market news and foreign affairs.

Lisa Murphy, business reporter at Fox/WNYW-TV, said her job is to “take the latest headlines and make them relevant to local New Yorkers. We tell the story from the perspective of a real live person who can bring it to life.” She added that quantifying the story increases its appeal, and they prefer stories about saving money.

Murphy noted that practical concerns and Fox’s own need to save money have influenced their decisions regarding coverage. She said, “Our local outlets have had staff cutbacks, so we need to be as efficient as possible.”

Gregg Greenberg, reporter for thestreet.com, interviews three guests a day, such as CEOs and business authors, for his daily podcast, “The Real Story.”  He does not like “surprises or embargoed information,” but does need adequate lead time. He strongly recommends that guests appearing on his podcast, even CEOs, take the subway downtown to the financial district to arrive on time.

Alisa Roth, New York bureau chief at American Public Media’s Marketplace said, “We look at the world through a money angle.” She said that any stories they cover, from the auto industry to education, are viewed through this filter.

They have three shows:  morning, evening, and weekend. Common themes include personal finance, news, and trends, and all must have a national angle.

Andy Hoffman, executive producer at Fox Business Network, discussed All Market Hours, which airs for seven hours during the day. They look for “either a compelling guest or a compelling story to tell, as well as content that is easily relatable to the audience.”

They prefer in-person rather than remote interviews, and he said it’s important to be “upfront about whether the guest is planning to do interviews with other media outlets.”