BLOOMBERG’S SPARKS OF CHANGE: It wasn’t your typical Bloomberg crowd.
As analysts and financial journalists made a beeline out of Bloomberg’s New York office Tuesday night, an eclectic mix of partygoers, including Charlie Rose, Cathie Black and Dannijo’s Danielle and Jodie Snyder, streamed in to fete the launch of Bloomberg Business. The site, which debuted last week following a few hiccups, is the new portal for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek, which includes Pursuits and Markets, among others.
From a staircase overlooking the merrymakers, Bloomberg stood alongside Justin Smith, chief executive of Bloomberg Media, and delivered a few remarks on the site. “I think that it is something that will help educate the people that we care about and that is people that want quality news and that want to be entertained but in an upscale way,” the media titan said. “I think that describes what we are and who our customers are.”
Smith offered that the new site marries traditional and digital journalism. He then told a story of how his boss removed the walls of his office when he returned to the company in the fall. “It’s a symbolic story,” Smith said, explaining that Bloomberg has been “tearing down walls” and “lighting that fire of entrepreneurship, setting sparks of change.”
That may be an understatement.
Since he rejoined the company following a 12-year stint as mayor, Bloomberg has appointed a new editor in chief — John Micklethwait — and given Josh Tyrangiel a bigger role. Tyrangiel, who served as editor of Businessweek, was bestowed with the power of oversight over all consumer editorial content, including the company’s luxury magazine Pursuits, in late August.
In the months that followed, Tyrangiel dismissed Pursuits editor in chief Ted Moncreiff, along with his small editorial team, and he installed Etc. editor Emma Rosenblum as top dog at the luxury title. According to sources, the move was to counterbalance the losses Businessweek was still suffering. In 2009, Businessweek reportedly was losing about $40 million a year. Bloomberg had purchased the magazine from McGraw Hill and assumed roughly $30 million in debt at the time. Tyrangiel reportedly hasn’t been able to stem the losses, and the magazine is still losing about $40 million annually. Pursuits, on the other hand, was making money since it launched in 2012. Bringing Pursuits under the Businessweek umbrella improves the profit and loss statement.
The media firm declined to comment.
Back to Pursuits. Insiders told WWD that new advertisers were emerging and that weeks before Moncreiff was dismissed, the title picked up new ads from a luncheon with the editor. Insiders speculated Moncreiff’s firing had to do with his loose budget, but then again, Bloomberg isn’t wary of spending money, another source said. A prevailing theory is that Tyrangiel had been eyeing the property, and that the higher-ups trust the young editor to transform Pursuits into something more similar to Businessweek’s popular Etc. section.
Rosenblum, the former editor of Etc., will likely give Pursuits a snappier, younger voice. Her first issue will come out this summer.
Markets magazine could get a rehaul next, insiders said, noting that even though Tyrangiel is the golden boy today, he could face pressure as Micklethwait comes in and looks to put his own stamp on the media company.