The rift that exists at Bloomberg
O’Brien writes, “But within the black box of the company, a bigger rift emerged between Winkler’s newswire juggernaut and Bloomberg Media, the consumer media division led by Tyrangiel, who was supposed to help bring fresh life to the organization, and Justin Smith, a former diplomat who had made his mark on the business side of journalism by turning the dusty Atlantic into a digital-age moneymaker.
“The consumer media division was what would give Mike Bloomberg the cultural schwack he coveted. That was why he had insisted, over the protestations of advisers, on buying Businessweek in 2009. He didn’t care if the magazine was a financial albatross. Businessweek was a suitably dignified conversation piece, one that also helped the overall enterprise in a way that went beyond dollars and cents: Tycoons might not deign to talk to a lowly wire reporter, but they would sit down for an interview with a writer from an influential weekly. Tyrangiel was brought in to remake the magazine. The soft-eyed young editor was a protégé of Norm Pearlstine at Time but had no financial journalism experience, having previously worked at MTV, Vibe and Rolling Stone.
“At Businessweek, Tyrangiel set about constructing his own fiefdom. The magazine occupied a floor filled with Brooklyn characters who stood out in contrast to the typical spit-shined employees. Some Bloomberg News staffers referred to the floor as ‘Williamsburg.’ The two operations, so culturally out of sync, often clashed.
“Tyrangiel mostly paid lip service to cooperating with Bloomberg News, according to multiple sources. He spoke often about a symbiotic relationship but made little headway in creating one. Slights piled up, sources on the news side recount: emails ignored, Businessweek writers dispatched to cover the same ground as beat reporters and resentment when Tyrangiel chose not to run magazine versions of Bloomberg News’ best efforts, including a series on student loans that won Polk and Loeb awards. (Instead, he hired a freelancer who ‘did a very superficial job,’ according to a former editor at Bloomberg News.)