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Loeb Awards: Chris Anderson Wins Best Book

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The Loeb Awards–the Pulitzers of the business journalism world–were handed out last night by the dean of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management at a dinner in New York. The West Coast winner is

Chris Anderson, of Wired, won for his book, The Long Tail.

Full list below.


Large Newspaper Winners

Charles Forelle, James Bandler, Mark Maremont and Steve Stecklow of The Wall Street Journal for “The Secretive Backdating of Option Awards for Corporate Executives”

This detailed investigation of stock option abuses began with the reporting team’s creative application of probability theory and evolved into one of the highest-impact business stories of the year. The piece exposed a number of companies whose stock option grant dates were consistently and suspiciously timed with low points in the stock’s pricing. The exposure led to federal investigations of 140 companies and the firings or resignations of at least 70 top officials.

Medium Newspaper Winners

Chiaki Kawajiri, Gady A. Epstein and Stephanie Desmon of The Baltimore Sun for “Crab Factory”

This well-written tale of Maryland’s storied blue crab is artfully woven into a saga of globalization and entrepreneurship, revealing both the winners and losers of outsourcing, fueled by the American consumer’s demand for cheap products. As the Chesapeake Bay’s crab industry struggled for survival, Maryland-based Phillips Crab House began importing Asian blue crab creating a $1 billion industry with their new “Maryland-style crab”, and triggering economic and social effects in communities across the bay and in Asia.

Small Newspaper Winners

Mike McAndrew and Michelle Breidenbach of The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) for “The Great Empire Zone Giveaway”

This incisive series revealed New York’s appallingly mismanaged Empire Zone program of tax incentives designed to promote and expand businesses, and exposed millions of dollars in waste. Despite fierce resistance from the city, the reporters crafted a classic piece of investigative journalism by scouring property records, federal securities disclosures and other public records. Their series sparked action by the state’s lieutenant governor who cited the stories and promised to eliminate waste in the system.

Magazines Winner

Charles Fishman of Fast Company for “How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change the World? One.”

With exquisite insight and humor, Charles Fishman tackles what might seem like a pedestrian topic–the use of lightbulbs in the home–and shapes a beautiful and persuasive story about energy conservation and personal responsibility. A wonderful example of explanatory journalism, his story impacted people across the country, influencing energy use in thousands, if not tens of thousands of homes.

Commentary Winner

Steve Bailey of The Boston Globe for Steve Bailey Downtown

Whether he’s flying to Key West for the scoop on junkets enjoyed by board members of the Middlesex County retirement system or telling the saga of John Walsh, a boot-strapping first-generation millionaire trying to crack into a posh old-money Beacon Hill cooperative, Bailey brings both a sense of outrage and shoe-leather reporting to his columns. Giving voice to the common man, his thorough reporting often brings attention and change to questionable practices.

Deadline Writing Winners

Ann Davis, Henny Sender and Gregory Zuckerman of The Wall Street Journal for “The Implosion of a Highflying Hedge Fund”

This superbly written account of the biggest hedge-fund collapse ever is classic storytelling for a broad audience, while also reflecting the sophistication that serious business readers deserve. The collapse was the result of risky investments in natural gas made mainly by a single brash energy trader, who, due to the reporting team’s careful perseverance, happened to be the main source for the story.

Beat Writing Winner

Heather Landy of Fort Worth Star-Telegram for “Radio Shack CEO’s Resume in Question”

Also nominated in the medium newspaper category, Landy’s piece is testament to how quality beat reporting can serve as an effective public watchdog. Displaying remarkable ingenuity, the reporter discovered the resume inflation of Radio Shack’s chief executive officer and tenaciously pursued leads until the truth came out and the CEO resigned.

News Services or Online Content Winner

Alistair Barr of MarketWatch for “Who Are the Short Sellers?”

Alistair Barr found a way into the shadowy world of short sellers that would have eluded less intrepid reporters. Providing detailed and fair analysis of a complex topic, Barr gives all sides of the issue solid scrutiny, revealing both the upside and downside of short-selling, while shedding light on an extraordinary, but poorly covered area of the financial markets.

Feature Writing Winner

Louis Uchitelle of The New York Times for “Rewriting the Social Contract”

A veteran of financial journalism, Uchitelle’s breath of experience and profound perspective is evidenced through his exemplary body of work and a storytelling style that mixes anecdotal material with hard-nosed analysis. One terrific example is last year’s feature Uchitelle wrote about a doctor who decided he wasn’t making enough money, so he became a consultant on Wall Street and quickly became a multi-millionaire.

Television Daily Winners

Jim Popkin, Lisa Myers and Adam Ciralsky of NBC News for “Trophy”

This report revealed a secret effort by the US Army to thwart development of a new Israeli device called “trophy,” designed to defend soldiers from rocket-propelled grenades. Over an eight-month period, the reporting team uncovered the army’s aim to protect a $70 million Raytheon contract to produce a competing product from scratch. Their timely story triggered a government accountability office investigation and a new law in Congress.

Television Enterprise Winners

Jeff Fager, Steve Kroft, Andy Court, Keith Sharman, Patti Hassler and Daniel J. Glucksman of CBS News 60 Minutes for “The Mother of All Heists”

In this stunning report, Steve Kroft and “60 Minutes” reveal the rampant corruption that has infected a succession of Iraqi governments since the toppling of Saddam Hussein. The investigation includes an allegation that at least half a billion dollars intended to equip the new Iraqi military was stolen by the very people the U.S. government had entrusted to run it.

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