Hacks Play Ball, Minus the Flacks

Hacks play ball (photo credit: Peter Sterne)

Hacks play ball (photo credit: Peter Sterne)

The New York Financial Writers Association’s annual “hacks vs. flacks” softball game is supposed to be a chance for financial journalists to meet the public relations professionals who never stop sending emails “just to follow up.” And it gives flacks the chance to hurl something at journalists other than press releases.

But the flacks never showed up at Central Park for Sunday’s game.

“The flacks were so beat up last year that they didn’t come back,” declared Jane Reilly, the former executive manager of the NYFWA. She was referring to last year’s surprise upset, in which the journalists were victorious. (The flacks won the year before.)

Lacking an opponent, the writers had to split into two teams, one led by Hajime Matsuura, a reporter for the Japanese newspaper The Sankei Shimbun and the MVP of last year’s softball game. The other was helmed by Richard Wilner, the business editor of The New York Post, whose parent company News Corp. recently spun off its print publications. But this particular split worked out well for Mr. Wilner.

Dan Kadlec, a heavy hitter in the business pages of Time and Money, led Mr. Wilner’s team to victory, aided by Mary-
ellen Tighe, a wire reporter for the Financial Times who runs “like a gazelle” in Mr. Wilner’s estimation.

“I pick my softball players as well as I pick my reporters,” said Mr. Wilner, whose team won 10 to 4. The outcome, however, did not move the markets one way or another.