News Flash: Telecom Analyst Jeff Kagan Gets Paid By Telecom Companies to Analyze Stuff

by Scott Baradell | PR and Pop Culture

News Flash: Telecom Analyst Jeff Kagan Gets Paid By Telecom Companies to Analyze Stuff

From the New York Post:

May 3, 2006 — Major U.S. newspapers often quote Jeff Kagan – regarded as one of the most influential telecommunications analysts – but invariably leave out the fact that he is paid by many companies in the industry to offer his comments to the media…

His Web site declares: “Kagan is a ‘fee-based’ analyst. He gives interviews, analysis and insights to the media for free, and charges everyone else.”

But the publications that quote him rarely, if ever, mention the financial ties.

We’re waiting for the follow-up stories on the Yankee Group, Forrester, Gartner, Jupiter … Heck, this could be a 78-part investigative series.

In theory, it’s not a bad idea for newspapers to state the obvious — that analysts do paid work for companies in the industries they analyze. It’s just that reporters are burdened with including too much obvious background in their stories as it is — while still being required to keep their pieces brief. This stuff can really only be taken so far.

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7 thoughts on “News Flash: Telecom Analyst Jeff Kagan Gets Paid By Telecom Companies to Analyze Stuff

  1. Anonymous

    I heard Mr. K speak once. Under intense questioning, he appeared to concede that he consulted for Japanese telecom hardware companies.

    Why the business media does NOT point this out is so ridiculous and absurd, it defies logic and rationality.

  2. Stacy

    we don’t point it out because, as mentioned — background is long and word-counts (and time) are stingy. (I’m not a telecom beat reporter but I’ve pinch-hit there, and I’ve quoted before Kagan without an extensive investigation of his background because hey, everyone quotes him.) times like this, I just repeat the mantra: ‘we are the *rough draft* of history.’

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting on Jeff Kagan. I’ve known him for more than 20 years and always knew he got paid for consulting for firms in the industry. It’s this very consulting that makes his views on the industry valuable to a reporter to get the “skinny” on any development.

  4. Anonymous

    “If you check out Kagan’s Web site, he’s pretty open .. who he does it for.”

    Did check. No reference to Japanese telecom hardware companies.

    To those lazy news-media that doesn’t want to drill all that yada-yada —

    Mr. K appears to have been a BellSouth mid-level manager who worked with hardware companies and who is now a consultant for said-same. Whether this has any effect on his industry comments on Lucent or Alcatel or companies that do NOT hire him, I do not know.

  5. SB

    So what — he did consulting for DoCoMo or something? I’m sure he’s far from alone — what difference does it make? Heck, when I was in telecom, DoCoMo flew me to Japan to give a talk on wireless messaging. American telecoms work closely with Japanese telecoms. And?

  6. Anonymous

    “So what .. And?”

    Thank you for making the case for disclosure. You disclosed far more than Mr. K., who ought to take the hint.

    BTW: does Mr. K understand the concept “front-running?” As in, before SuperCom? Or CTIA? Or The Western Show?

    Or “going short?”

    Or how the SEC monitors trading?