Tags: bloomberg | layoffs | investigative | journalism

Bloomberg Layoffs Signal Move Away From Investigative Journalism

By    |   Monday, 25 Nov 2013 02:59 AM

Bloomberg is laying off journalists who report on areas company executives consider to be unconnected to its primary source of revenue —  its eponymous data terminals used by traders and hedge-fund managers.
 
The company will reconfigure its news division to de-emphasize investigative journalism and non-business stories in order to accentuate market-driven news, The New York Times reported.

Bloomberg first moved into journalism because it boosted the credibility of its terminal business. The idea that the news side would complement the main business side is under reassessment.
 
"We shouldn't be doing any news other than what makes money for our readers," said Thomas Secunda, who co-founded the company in 1982 and is responsible for its profitable terminals and others financial services.

Some 85 percent of Bloomberg's employees are not journalists. The company projects $8.3 billion in revenue this year. The news side brings in just four percent of that amount. Most of Bloomberg's 315,000 terminal subscribers don't use them to read its journalism output.

The business and news sides sometimes conflict, the Times reported.

Award-winning investigative reporting has cost the company terminal sales. Bloomberg's stories on the wealth accumulated by Xi Jinping, then the incoming Communist Party boss and his family, led Beijing authorities to halt the purchase of Bloomberg terminals in China.

The government also stopped issuing residency visas to Bloomberg reporters. Communist authorities told Bloomberg the company had been licensed to operate in China to cover business not politics.

Bloomberg executives were also concerned that its reporting in Singapore would cost the company sales there.

In May, Bloomberg reporters were caught spying on how customers were using terminals, potentially jeopardizing sales.

The change in news mission is being orchestrated by Bloomberg's chief executive Daniel Doctoroff and implemented by editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler.

The company has fired about 40 out of its 2,400 journalists but will hire 100 others to focus on quick, fast-moving market news, the Times reported. Bloomberg remains highly profitable and maintains bureaus in 73 countries.

When he leaves office at the end of 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who founded the company, is expected to return to write a column for Bloomberg's opinion section.

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Bloomberg is laying off journalists who report on areas company executives consider to be unconnected to its primary source of revenue — its eponymous data terminals used by traders and hedge-fund managers.
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Monday, 25 Nov 2013 02:59 AM
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