No profession is a walk in the park these days, but being a journalist can be particularly frustrating: few jobs, awful pay, and little trust from the public.
Those traits were also true before the economy crashed — although perhaps less biting — and plenty of reporters left for more lucrative careers.
But, as The Wall Street Journal notes today, some of the most high profile examples of truth-seekers turned rain-makers haven’t done so well recently:
Journalism Experience: New York Observer and New York Daily News
Where He Went: Tishman Speyer, the family New York real estate firm
Where He Is Now: Tishman, as the WSJ reports, “recently defaulted on debt tied to a big portfolio of office buildings it bought in Washington, D.C. The firm also is under stress from its top-of-the-market purchase of Archstone Smith, a high-end-apartment landlord, and the Manhattan apartment complexes of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town.” More here.
Steven Rattner (pictured above)
Journalism Experience: The New York Times
Where He Went: Lazard, Quadrangle Group
Where He Is Now: Rattner recently stepped down as President Obama’s car czar, months after taking the position. While Rattner hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing, his former private-equity firm, Quadrangle, is being investigated for a “pay to play” pension scandal.
Journalism Experience: The Wall Street Journal
Where He Went: Morgan Stanley
Where He Is Now: Barsky started the hedge fund Alison Capital in 1998, but closed it in May, returning $800 million to investors after losing 20% in 2008. Barsky said working in finance is “unhealthy.”
Journalism Experience: CNBC
Where He Went: founded hedge fund Insana Capital Partners
Where He Is Now: As WSJ notes, “Insana’s fund had trouble out of the gate. In the first 14 months of being up and running, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell more than 15 per cent. Insana closed the fund in the spring of 2008. After a brief stint at Steve Cohen’s S.A.C Capital, he returned to CNBC this year as a part-time analyst.”
Maybe these guys chose the wrong profession to jump to. Michael Precker, a respected Dallas Morning News reporter and graduate of Columbia Journalism School, now runs a Dallas strip club. We hear that’s doing pretty well.
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