Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Legal Schanuzer Reporting On Ted Rollins Gets Picked Up At A Premier Site For Business News

Our reporting on Campus Crest Communities and CEO Ted Rollins was picked up today by one of the nation's leading Web sites for business news.

Seeking Alpha included one of our Rollins articles on its list of top articles for today, October 23, 2012. The article is titled "Wall Street Analyst Provides An Insider's View On A Student-Housing REIT."

Based on my interview with Robert W. Baird and Company's Paula Poskon, the article focuses on challenges Campus Crest Communities has faced since completing a $380-million Wall Street IPO in October 2010. Poskon also discusses changes the company has made to address problems that led to a disappointing first quarter as a public company.

The Poskon interview touches on the significant personal baggage Ted Rollins carries, and how that is viewed in the investment community. From the Seeking Alpha article:

Paula Poskon, of Robert W. Baird and Company, expressed confidence that new blood on the management team will help Campus Crest right the ship. But she said the company's emergence as one of the country's three publicly traded student-housing REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust) has not been without growing pains. 
I have reported extensively on Campus Crest Communities, partly because of CEO Ted Rollins' central role in an Alabama divorce case that was handled in an irregular fashion. Poskon said the investment community generally is aware of, and somewhat concerned about, the nasty nature of Rollins' divorce. But that has not kept Wall Street from supporting his company to the tune of more than $400 million, including a $380-million IPO that was completed in late 2010.

I'm a new contributor at Seeking Alpha, so my audience there is in the development stage. I've written several posts at what the site calls an Instablog, and you can check out the Roger Shuler Instablog here. Today's piece was the first full article I've had at Seeking Alpha.

In a way, Seeking Alpha and I are a strange fit. The site focuses heavily on stock-market news and financial analysis; investors are the prime target audience. My forte, of course, is reporting on legal issues, with a strong dose of politics and higher education on the side.

I've come to realize, however, that my reporting is focusing more and more on the business world. That certainly is the case with the Campus Crest Communities and Ted Rollins storyline. It also is the case with our reports on W & H Investments, a Birmingham firm that specializes in oil and gas investments and was embroiled in a lawsuit with the Estate of Sloan Y. Bashinsky Sr. That lawsuit, of course, involved the late CEO of one of Alabama's best-known businesses, Golden Enterprises, the maker of Golden Flake Snack Foods.

While I don't touch much on stock and investment news, I do increasingly report on general business news--and there definitely is a place for that at Seeking Alpha. What kind of presence does the site have in the business world? Nielsen Analytics found that Seeking Alpha has the leading audience of any financial news site--including Bloomberg, CNN Money, and The Wall Street Journal. From the Nielsen findings:

Seeking Alpha has the highest percentage of financial professionals (13.9%) of any major finance website. A significantly higher percentage of SA readers are decision makers or "influencers" for the purchase of financial services (13.8%) than for any other major finance website.(The closest second is WSJ.com with 9.8%.) And SA has the highest proportion of readers who are purchasers of online financial services for their own business, at 9.2%. (The closest second is Barron's with 3.6%.) We think our non-professional readers also influence financial decisions: Nielsen found that over 50% of SA's readers provide frequent advice about financial information. (The closest second is Barron's, with 28.3%.)

An expanded version of the article featuring my interview with Paula Poskon will appear soon at Legal Schnauzer.


Anonymous said...

Seeking Alpha is an influential business Web site. I read it every day, as do many of my colleagues. Will be looking for your articles there.

Spasmoda said...

Congrats on the exposure. Hope the corporate types pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Article sent to 118 people. Those 118 forward to friends and business associates and the truth spreads like wildfire.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 2:18--

Thank you. I'm very much a newbie on Seeking Alpha. Just recently discovered it. I'm impressed with its reach within the business community.

Anonymous said...

The younger generation in America, so many it is truly a staggering number that have gotten 'business' and investing and money savvy, your investigations report the true news about the reasons our country has fallen apart, at the tap root. Education via expert journalism ...

Certainly deserve to be a Beta Fighting Fish mount for Legal Schnauzer, at Seeking Alpha.


jeffrey spruill said...

In real life, there's a pretty good chance that he's a creepy-crawly himself.


Oh man Mr. Schnauzer. Won't take you long to develop an audience at Seeking Alpha.

Anonymous said...

You need to participate in a contest for among the finest blogs on the web. I'll advocate this web site!

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of puff pieces at Seeking Alpha, with people touting this stock and that stock. Some of them know what they are talking about, but a lot of it involves non-critical looks at various business sectors. I hope they keep publishing your work because you definitely don't mind taking a critical view. They need more of that at SA.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schnauzer:

I follow Seeking Alpha daily, and like the commenter above, I recognize a lot of puffery on there. But it also has a lot of valuable info, if you know how to find it.

I'm familiar with how the site works and thought I would share these statistics that show up on your article. They give some idea of the site's reach:

This article was sent to:
* 118 people who get CCG real-time alerts
* 148,374 people who get Dividends & Income daily

That first item is 118 alerts that go to people who follow Campus Crest Communities. Its symbol is CCG.

The second item is the number of alerts sent to readers who get Dividends & Income Daily newsletter.

So from those two sources alone, you had a potential reach of almost 150,000 people. It doesn't mean they all clicked on your article, of course. But it also doesn't include those who found it directly at SA or through the Yahoo! Finance ticker.

SA has its faults, but it definitely is well read. And I know that its content is discussed quite a bit in business circles.

Good luck to you, sir.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 6:05--

Thanks so much for your insights. I had not even noticed those stats you cite. I do subscribe to 2-3 of the SA daily newsletters and find them quite interesting.