Bloomberg announces layoffs as editor seeks to sharpen business news company’s editorial focus
Sports and education coverage cut along with around 80 positions as the media company looks to focus on business, finance, markets, economics, technology and politics
Tuesday was a bad day for 80 to 90 journalists at Bloomberg News as layoffs occurred as the media company refocused, eliminating its sports and education coverage.
The NYT and other news sources disagreed on the exact number of layoffs, with the NYT reporting “around 90” while other media outlets using 80. Bloomberg overall employs about 2,400 journalists in 150 bureaus worldwide.
The new layoffs were widely rumored, but yesterday editor John Micklethwait broke the news in an epic staff memo (PDF here). The memo states that “from very early on, about building on pillars: business, finance, markets, economics, technology and power (politics and government),” Micklethwait wrote. “It is also why this week we decided to end our sports and education coverage as we’ve known it. Although we have published some great stories, people don’t turn to us first for news on schools or baseball.”
Micklethwait went on to provide staff with an explanation where he sees coverage going, emphasizing the business nature of the news organization.
“I am sorry that we had to lose a lot of good people today: no editor likes to have to sit down with a succession of journalists and explain that they are losing their jobs,” Micklethwait wrote. “But this is about refocusing our considerable resources to be true to our purpose.”
The NYT reported yesterday that about 20 journalists lost their positions in New York, “about a dozen” in Washington DC, with the remaining lost in other newsrooms.
The layoffs come as Michael Bloomberg returned to the company that bares his name after serving three terms as major of the city of New York. Micklethwait, who was born in London, had previously been editor at The Economist, and was named editor at Bloomberg late last year.