How to get Fortune magazine to pen a puff piece on you? Complain that they did the same for the competition.
The Time Inc. business title is said to be working on a softball story on CNBC, hitting in the April 14 issue. This comes after Fortune published, in October, a blowjobby piece on the just-launching Fox Business Network, penned by then-staffer Tim Arango.
When that article hit, Kevin Goldman (then the VP of CNBC publicity and a former Wall Street Journal reporter) fired off an angry three-page letter to Fortune's editors, we're told, complaining about the rival network receiving such gratuitous coverage just out of the gate and demanding "better treatment" for CNBC.
Now, it could be argued, Fortune is offering a make good: The GE finance network is set to receive its own lauding coverage in the magazine.
We're told Jessi Hempel is penning the piece and, according to cable industry sources she spoke with, promised the article will be "extremely positive." After all, relays a source, Hempel says she was "told to write a positive piece about CNBC" and has declared she's a fan of CNBC chief Mark Hoffman.
When asked about the situation, Fortune chief Andy Serwer responded in a statement: "This article is an in-depth snapshot of CNBC, the only one that has been written in the last 5 years, with the kind of reporting, fact-checking and honesty that readers have come to expect from Fortune."
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