OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg Government making layoffs, including Pulitzer winner

January 10, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Bloomberg Government, a unit of Bloomberg LP that covers the intersection of government and business, is laying off an undetermined number of employees on Thursday, a person from within the unit confirmed to Talking Biz News.

One of those laid off is Lisa Getter, who won a Pulitzer Prize when she worked for The Miami Herald in the 1990s.

The head of Bloomberg Government will be holding a Town Hall meeting at 10:45 a.m. to discuss the “strategic realignment,” Talking Biz News is told.

Those losing their jobs will be able to apply for other jobs within the company. Another source at the company expected the total number of employees to lose their jobs to be about a dozen. A third source said the number is higher — about two dozen.

Bloomberg Government launched in January 2011, and it has employed hundreds of business journalists.

BGOV journalists report on minutiae — who got a subcommittee appointment on the Hill — but also report and write ‘deep dives’ and analysis that explain government to the business world.

Customers pay $5,700 a year for access to a trove of information — campaign contributions breakdowns, analysis of federal contracting, directories of agency and congressional staff members and parsing of legislation and regulations.

In September 2011, Bloomberg acquired The Bureau of National Affairs Inc., for just less than $1 billion. The deal was intended to help boost its Bloomberg Law operations. However, as the company was integrated, it was discovered that BNA’s operations meshed also with BGOV.

From a BGOV source who attended the Town Hall meeting:

Don Baptiste, the head of BGOV and one of its founders, said  “2012 was a year of real momentum for BGOV… We greatly diversified beyond Capitol Hill to K Street, Fortune 500 companies, associations and non-profits, growing our corporate seats by over 75 percent. We deepened our relationships with key clients. We now have dozens of Fortune 500 companies as clients and thousands of users since BGOV launched two years ago. And overall, we’re up over 50 percent in the number of total BGOV seats from this time last year.

“One of the best attributes of BGOV, and Bloomberg L.P., is that we are never complacent. We always innovate, improve and keep looking forward. For this reason, Bloomberg L.P. continues to grow as well, and we remain one of the largest media and information services here in the Washington DC area. This growth has also brought the company multiple sources of proprietary content, and Bloomberg is working hard to maximize this content across our many platforms and rationalize operations wherever possible. This affects BGOV, because as you know we draw content from diverse sources within the organization, and we can leverage this content to invest in other areas of our business.

“Because of this — and after much discussion and consultation — we have decided to eliminate a number of positions, and we informed those individuals earlier today. Anyone affected by this realignment will have the opportunity to apply for a position elsewhere in the organization.

“The changes we’re making today have a clear purpose in pursuit of our common goal: To ensure that that everything we do — from our strategy and  sales efforts, to our product development and customer service — is focused on always delivering the most value to our customers.  We see positive momentum across all areas of BGOV, and we closed out 2012 on a strong note, exceeding our revised forecast…We started BGOV to create the premier, one-stop information service in Washington. Because of your hard work…we are well on our way, and every day is a day we move closer to that reality.”

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