Examining The Coverage of The O’Neal Ouster


Clearly E. Stanley O’Neal was a flawed CEO who posted Merrill Lynch & Company’s largest loss ever and was under fire for longer than these past seven days when the media criticism turned withering. Still, Yvette Kantrow, the Executive Editor of The Deal, today examines the coverage surrounding Jenny Anderson and Landon Thomas, Jr’s October 26th scoop on the ill-considered merger feelers of Merrill Lynch to Wachovia which began the media avalanche that ultimately led to the O’Neal’s ouster. Kantrow notes that CNBC’s Charles Gasparino noted O’Neal’s vulnerability several weeks previous to the Times’ scoop. From TheDeal:

”As the O’Neal drama progressed, the role of the Times’ scoop remained a matter of debate. The Times consistently played the Wachovia overture as a fireable offense and major contributor to O’Neal’s downfall. But Gasparino saw it differently. ‘There is no way that Stan O’Neal is getting fired for making a preliminary phone call,’ he told viewers. ‘One, the whole firm hates him; two, he took on risk on the bond desk; three, that strategy turned out to be a bad one, as we all know.”’

Andrew Clark writes on the same subject for Guardian Unlimited, beginning his critical essay, ”It has been a long time since Wall Street witnessed a display of bitch-slapping and back-stabbing quite as spectacular as the squabble which engulfed Merrill Lynch this week.”

(image via businessandmedia)