Remember this whenever you read top ten lists compiled by journalists: They are ridiculous.
Going through boxes in the basement I found a trade journal that ranked me the 39th most important financial journalist in the world in 2000.
I could not stop laughing. It seemed totally absurd.
First of all, being ranked 39th was so random.
Second, I was ranked above some super stars, including Joe Nocera (78), Joanne Lipman (87), Stephen Adler (90) and David Faber (99).
I was happy I beat out Rick Stine (52). He was the Managing Editor at Dow Jones who turned me down for a job in 1990. That seemed like Karma.
Mike Kandel, the long-time CNN editor and columnist was ranked 38, which seemed too low. He was 69 at the time.
To be fair, maybe he had a bad year. In a separate ranking TJFR, the trade journal, said Kandel was one of the 10 most important business journalists of the 20th century.
I saw Mike recently at a retirement party for a colleague. He said some kind words and marveled how our industry has changed.
Some of the top names on the list made sense. Paul Steiger, who was running the Wall Street Journal, was No. 1. Norm Pearlstine, editor-in-chief of Time Inc., was No. 2. Matt Winkler, the founder of Bloomberg News, was No. 5.
I have no idea how I got on the list. I didn’t apply.
It’s not totally crazy. I was running the Americas for Bloomberg News, which at the time was probably hiring more journalists than any other media company. I did have a lot of influence on those decisions.
I would have preferred the list prioritize the reporters who uncover fraud at companies such as Enron.
Even though it’s totally absurd, I kept a copy of the publication.
After all, it’s not every day you get ranked 39th in something.