Winners and Finalists in Loeb Competition Announced

Posted on May 19, 1998

William P. Pierskalla, chairman of the G. and R. Loeb Foundation Inc., Monday announced the winners of the 1998 Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. The awards are among the highest honors in the journalism profession.

Alan Abelson, columnist for Barron's, is the 1998 recipient of the Loeb Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award. "Few journalists have been as influential as Alan Abelson. For 41 years he has given us his insights, wisdom and a moral view of a world in which ethics and straight dealings are often rare commodities," said Pierskalla.

The winner in the large newspaper category (circulation of more than 400,000) is Michael Siconolfi for "The Spin Desk," his page one article on the practice of "spinning," which revealed how investment banks allocate hot IPOs to the personal accounts of corporate executives in an apparent bid for business, in The Wall Street Journal.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: The Wall Street Journal staff for its coverage of "Asia's Economic Crisis," also in The Wall Street Journal; the Newsday staff for "On Thin Ice," an investigative series which uncovered fraudulent business practices by John Spano, including his bid to purchase the NHL's New York Islanders, in Newsday; Keith Bradsher for "Light Trucks, Heavy Risk," an exhaustive investigation that disclosed safety and environmental problems posed by sports utility vehicles and minivans, in The New York Times; and Kurt Eichenwald, Martin Gottlieb, Josh Barbanel, N.R. Kleinfield, and Tamar Lewin for "Health Care's Giant," an investigative series on the government's probe of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.'s for-profit health-care practices, in The New York Times.

The winner in the medium-size newspaper category (circulation between 150,000 and 400,000), is William Conroy, Nancy Shields, John T. Ward, Larry Arnold, Rick Linsk and Terri Somers for "House of Cards," an investigative series which uncovered and unraveled one of the most massive real estate frauds in the state's history, in the Asbury Park Press.

The winner in the small newspaper category (circulation of less than 150,000), is Amy Hetzner and Amy Baldwin for "Borrowing Trouble," an investigative series detailing the state's lending practices and how it affects the poor, in the Birmingham Post-Herald.

The winner in the magazine category is Michael Mandel and Dean Foust for their "New Economy" package, which provided intuitive and on-target economic analysis, in Business Week. The winner in the commentary category is Allan Sloan for selected commentaries, in Newsweek. The winner in the deadline/beat writing category is Alix Freedman and Suein Hwang for their breakthrough coverage of the tobacco industry's liability settlement, in The Wall Street Journal.

Thirty preliminary judges representing the media and academia made the preliminary (finalist) selections. The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 12 final judges. The 1998 Gerald Loeb Award winners and finalists as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be honored at an awards banquet on June 22 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.