Amid a storm of controversy, Dow Jones has accepted the resignation of MarketWatch columnist Bambi Francisco. At this point you’ve probably read more than you’d like about the whole Bambi Francisco story. Short version: Prominent MarketWatch journalist gets permission to invest in Vator.tv, journalist allegedly violates promise not to cover companies featured on Vator.tv, and all hell breaks loose as several outlets pile on to call her on it. Although many will assume that the resignation is the result of the story CNet floated yesterday, it might pay to look a little deeper.
The juiciest tidbit floating around this story that most reporters missed came from Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee who wrote, “I had interviewed Francisco about Vator a while back and got a somewhat different impression of the circumstances of the founding of Vator and
Francisco’s arrangement with her employer than portrayed in these articles… it was my impression that Francisco founded Vator, not accepted a stake in it last September, as CNET’s Greg Sandoval wrote.” Could it be that MarketWatch Editor In Chief David Callaway took a gander at Gannes’ post?
The only other place the distinction is raised is in Francisco’s farewell post on the MarketWatch website where she wrote, “Vator.tv began as a little garage project that I started last year to help me vet startups’ pitches and to give exposure to those I’d invariably overlook as a columnist. I mentioned the idea to Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and manager of the $2 billion hedge fund Clarium Capital.” Luckily, for Francisco, she’s landing at a company supported by one of the most successful investors in the Valley. Now we get to see if this ugly, high profile exit leaves an indelible taint on what is actually a pretty good idea in Vator.tv. If the post-G4TV success of the similarly conflicted Kevin Rose at Digg is any indication, Vator.tv could turn out to be one of the biggest video ventures to date.