What happens to Bloomberg’s media operations in the future?
Michael Wolff writes for The Hollywood Reporter about the changes at Bloomberg’s media operations after the return of company founder Michael Bloomberg.
Wolff writes, “Bloomberg was a data company, and there never was a scenario in which it wasn’t going to be, nor one in which it ever was going to put stature and gravitas over its core product and basic efficiencies. (Part of the internal discussion about acquiring the FT and The Economist or The New York Times was for the mayor to do it personally, far from the pressures of the terminal business.) Micklethwait was said to be stunned not only by internecine tensions at the company but also by his own need to adapt quickly to Bloomberg values — a metamorphosis, quite a tragic one to some, from a serious journalist and much-loved editor to an information company apparatchik.
“To longtime Bloomberg loyalists and observers (of both the man and his business), the billions spent on the company’s media venture, together with its chapters of grandiosity and disappointment, merely presaged the inevitable. Everyone now waits for details of the expected reorganization, which, prompted by the mayor’s aborted presidential run, will set up a succession plan for the company. In this, the terminal side obviously wins and hastens the turn of consumer-facing media back to its job as the news wire that supports the terminal. The central effort, supported by the terminal side, is in automated news — replacing writers with machines. At the office gathering where Bloomberg announced he wasn’t going to run for president, he joked he was going to give Secunda $30 billion to get serious about R&D for the terminal, as a grim Micklethwait looked on.”
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