OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg weighs implications of supporting Michael Bloomberg’s political campaign

November 12, 2019

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Michael Bloomberg

One of Michael Bloomberg’s advisers announced last week that the billionaire was taking measures to enter the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential election. With this, Bloomberg, the financial data and media company, is grappling with the implications of having to cover this campaign.

If Michael Bloomberg decides to go ahead with his political campaign, he will be stepping away from any role at his company, including leaving the membership of the six-person management committee.

However, the company would still cover his candidacy as it covered his 12-year tenure as New York’s mayor, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Although Bloomberg’s run will not affect his company, he still controls a little less than 90 percent of the company that he co-founded in 1981. In his absence, the other members of the committee would run the company.

“When Mike ran for City Hall, we kept the business moving forward, and when Mike became Mayor, the company continued to grow and innovate,” senior executives said in last week’s memo.

Additionally, if Michael Bloomberg were to gain the Democratic nomination or presidency, it is likely that he would move control of his assets, including his ownership of the media company, into a blind trust or a similar structure, people familiar with the matter said.

However, last year, he also said that he might sell the company if he decided to run for president and win the election.

“I think at my age, if selling it is possible, I would do that,” Mr. Bloomberg told Radio Iowa. “At some point, you’re going to die anyway, so you want to do it before then.”

Further, Mr. Bloomberg raised eyebrows in the Radio Iowa interview by suggesting that he might direct the company to “not cover politics at all” if he were to run. People familiar with the matter stated that this was not practical at all.

The company would cover his political run as it had covered his three terms in office as New York mayor.

Lastly, Mr. Bloomberg would also take no role in directing coverage or influencing how the newsroom would operate.

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