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Reporters get second look at NYSE exec's retirement package

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Reporters get second look at NYSE exec’s retirement package

  • After hearing complaints and widespread frustration, the New York Stock Exchange granted reporters two more hours today to review documents chronicling Dick Grasso’s retirement package.

Sep. 11, 2003 — Reporters were given two additional hours today to review the 1,200-page report that chronicles New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso’s controversial $139.5 million retirement package. The NYSE made the documents available to the media for a second day following widespread criticism by reporters that yesterday’s two hours of viewing was not enough time to analyze the information.

After learning about the compensation package last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the NYSE to compile a report. Earlier this week, NYSE officials announced they would not make the documents public “in the interests of saving the world’s forests,” according to a story in today’s The Wall Street Journal. While the NYSE is not legally obligated to release the information to reporters, journalists point out that the documents should be available through the SEC soon, making the NYSE’s actions unnecessarily difficult.

Allegations by the media that the NYSE was hiding something ensued, prompting the exchange — a private organization regulated by the SEC — to announce Tuesday that it would allow two reporters from each news organization to review the massive document — but with a few strings attached.

Reporters were placed in groups of eight and led to a conference room where four copies of the document sat on a table. The eight reporters then had just two hours to read through and take notes on the 1,200 pages before having to give way to a new batch of reporters. Photocopying and photography of the documents were prohibited.

When Wall Street Journal reporter Theo Francis took a snapshot of certain documents with his digital camera, a NYSE official immediately confiscated it, claiming the documents were private.

“We think disclosure means disclosure,” Paul E. Steiger, managing editor of the Journal, said in a story today about the incident.


© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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