OLD Media Moves

Assessing the new Bloomberg media CEO’s plans

August 20, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Tom Foremski of ZDNet.com writes Tuesday about the plans of Justin Smith, the new CEO of Bloomberg Media Group, to expand the company’s media business.

Foremski writes, “Also, will his forays into new media models be something that others can follow? This is unlikely since Bloomberg’s media business model is still tied to its lucrative terminals business. Or are changes on the way?

“With the steady income from the terminals business there’s less urgency to experiment with new models, a point that Mr. Smith appears to be trying to shakeup in his memo to 2400 editorial staff.

“The fact of the matter is that the economics of the media business do not favor an organization with 2400 journalists that has to rely on traditional revenues from advertising, paywalls, and events.

“The New York Times recently reported two years of consecutive declines in print and digital advertising revenues. It’s paywall subscriptions are rising but not fast enough to battle the continued disruption in its core business.

“Thanks to the terminals business, Mr. Smith is in a safe position to experiment with new models but his successes are unlikely to become models on which other, struggling media firms can build on.  For example, he doesn’t have to deal with print and digital advertising. His prior positions: This Week is in trouble, and Atlantic Media is growing but needs to grow faster to keep up with the decline in the value of print and digital advertising. His career is keeping him one step ahead of the media disruption.”

Read more here.

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