WSJ’s Citi Fallout

The Journal’s scoop yesterday that Citigroup’s board is considering firing its chairman made waves yesterday. The Times and the FT try to catch up, with the latter doing a better job. And there’s a faceoff between the WSJ and Citi on the scoop:

In a statement, Citigroup also called “completely erroneous” an article in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that said some directors are considering replacing Sir Win Bischoff as chairman. The Journal said it stands by the article. People familiar with the matter said the move still is being considered.

I’ll bet on the Journal here; Citi’s statement is just further proof of its being in disarray.

Meantime, the Journal pushes ahead, reporting that Citi will fire at least 10,000 workers starting this week and will jack up interest rates on its credit-card customers.

The NYT only indirectly acknowledges the Journal’s scoop and then only to quote Citi denying it. It doesn’t appear to be as well sourced as the Journal or the FT. The FT credits the Journal and uses the boardroom angle to advance the story a bit:

Mr Parsons’ friends say that, for the past few weeks, he has been talking about having to “get back to work” — a reference to his planned retirement from Time Warner next year.

And Citi insiders say he has been increasingly active within the company, holding meetings with senior managers, and being vocal and involved during board meetings.

The Journal throws in a handy bit of personal-finance help:

Customers can opt out of the rate increase. Those who do are permitted to use the card at the old rate until it expires.

Thanks for that info—I can put the scissors up for now.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.