Newspaper article International New York Times

Bloomberg News Laying off about 90 Journalists

Newspaper article International New York Times

Bloomberg News Laying off about 90 Journalists

Article excerpt

Coverage of areas like education and sports will be dropped to focus on business, finance, economics, technology and politics.

Bloomberg News has laid off as many as 90 journalists in its newsrooms in New York and Washington and across the world, as part of a plan to refocus the organization's coverage on business, finance, economics, technology and politics.

The rationale for the dismissals on Tuesday was outlined in a lengthy memo to the staff from Bloomberg's new editor in chief, John Micklethwait. In addition to refocusing on certain areas, Mr. Micklethwait said the organization would drop areas of coverage like sports and education. The memo was the first time that Mr. Micklethwait had articulated a comprehensive vision for the newsroom's future since starting the job early this year.

About 20 journalists were dismissed in New York, about a dozen in Washington and the rest in the company's global newsrooms, according to three people with knowledge of the layoffs who spoke on condition of anonymity. In Washington, those who were laid off were called to a conference room and given the news.

The 3,000-word memo from Mr. Micklethwait outlined a spate of changes -- some organizational, some visual, and some editorial -- and the thinking behind them.

Though Bloomberg aims to "expose financiers' mistakes and vanities, to probe into imperfect markets, and to point to potential speculative bubbles," he said, it can distinguish itself with a "passion for business, finance and markets. So if you are not intrigued by how people make money, or are inclined to sneer at those who are good at it, or yearn to practice 'gotcha journalism' on investment bankers simply because they've chosen to be bankers, Bloomberg is probably the wrong place for you."

Over the last six months, he wrote, he had visited many offices and begun to put changes into effect. This reorganization, he said, "is bigger -- and friends and colleagues have lost their jobs. It always hurts to let talented, dedicated people go, and no journalist likes to tell other journalists that they are losing their jobs. But this is not about downsizing; it is about refocusing our considerable resources. …

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