JOURNALIST Q&A: Robert Teitelman

Since the 1999 launch of The Daily Deal newspaper, the group has expanded to include The Deal, a glossy financial newsweekly; Corporate Control Alert, a monthly journal of corporate leadership changes; and Bankruptcy Insider, a weekly newsletter. Editor-in-chief Robert Teitelman speaks to PRWeek about The Deal.

Since the 1999 launch of The Daily Deal newspaper, the group has expanded to include The Deal, a glossy financial newsweekly; Corporate Control Alert, a monthly journal of corporate leadership changes; and Bankruptcy Insider, a weekly newsletter. Editor-in-chief Robert Teitelman speaks to PRWeek about The Deal.

PRWeek: What is "the deal economy"?

Robert Teitelman: The deal economy is the notion that there are these discrete disciplines in finance, which people have always covered as discrete disciplines: venture capital, private equity, M&A, bankruptcy. But in a sense, it's one community that's tied together. We cover finance through the prism of a deal. The notion is that deal making, as we define it, is more and more important in the economy. It's really the agent of change in corporate life these days.

PRWeek: What was it that drew you to financial reporting?

Teitelman: At Forbes, I was put into the tech area, which was just starting out back then. I got interested in biotech, and a book contract came along about the early days of biotechnology. So I had done a lot about biotech and healthcare and technology, and by the late '80s I had sort of burned out on it. Wall Street and finance just seemed to be a whole big, complicated area that seemed interesting.

PRWeek: At The Deal, you cover an area of business that's notoriously tight-lipped. What's the secret to getting timely and relevant information?

Teitelman: When we started, when nobody knew who we were, we couldn't get any information. It's gotten a lot easier. We now have a name in the business. At a place like this, the advertisers, the readers, and the sources are all the same people. We know these people pretty well. We make our living off of sophisticated financial coverage. It's easier to get people to talk to you if they trust you and if you're sophisticated, if you're working at the level that they are.

PRWeek: Looking back over your career, would you say that PR people have been more of a help or more of a hindrance to you as a journalist?

Teitelman: It's part of the landscape. If you're going to deal with a firm, if you're going to deal with a fund, they're going to have, probably, a PR person that's guarding them. I've known some great PR people, and I've known some not-so-great [ones]. It's just part of the wallpaper.


PRWeek: What is your main function at The Deal?

Teitelman: I sort of preside over the place. If I've done anything here - me and a small number of other people - it was to set the direction of the place. To articulate what we do that nobody else, in theory, would do. I still think a lot about how this whole thing fits together. The other half of my brain is cleaning up, editing. I probably spend two-thirds of the day just reading copy.

Name: Robert Teitelman

Publication: The Deal

Title: Editor-in-chief

Preferred contact method: rteit@thedeal.com

Website: thedeal.com

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