Friday, 11 July 2008

Bloomberg will revamp its financial news operations

Bloomberg, the financial news and data company founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, has announced a revamping intended to play up its growing assets in television, radio and Internet content.
The company, best known for its Bloomberg computer terminals, said Wednesday that the changes were meant to serve customers better by consolidating disparate divisions. The company will now be divided into three main units: news, data and financial products.
The news unit will include the company's existing news-gathering operation, which produces business articles for the Bloomberg terminals and other outlets, as well as a revamped multimedia department, which will run the company's 11 television channels, radio network and Web site.
The data division will comprise the company's databases and law information. The financial products division will house the core terminal business, trading systems and analytics.
The changes come six months after Daniel Doctoroff, a deputy mayor under Bloomberg, left that position to become president of the company. As mayor, Bloomberg is not involved in the company's day-to-day affairs, but he still talks regularly to the company's executives.

In meetings with employees Wednesday, Doctoroff and Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg, said the changes would create integrated structures for the company's products and services, and ensure that the staff in each area was more specialized for customers.
About 85 percent of Bloomberg's revenue comes from its terminals, which are considered indispensable on trading floors. But the company's other revenue streams are growing more quickly.
"We expect that growth rate to continue to be at a premium to our terminal business going forward," Grauer said in an interview.
Naturally, then, Bloomberg wants to make better use of its other assets, which include its electronic network, trading systems and news division.
"We're integrating all of our financial products businesses," Grauer said. "They'll have sales, product development, and customer support services all working in vertical teams."
By setting up groups based on the kinds of customers they serve, he said, the company is to be more client-friendly and innovative.
Matthew Winkler, editor in chief of Bloomberg News, will continue to oversee the journalists who write for the terminals, for newspapers and for a magazine, Bloomberg Markets. Executives will soon start an external search for a leader of the Bloomberg multimedia division.
Norman Pearlstine, the former top editor of Time Inc., became Bloomberg's chief content officer in May. He will not be affected by the shuffle.
Grauer emphasized that while other media companies were forecasting layoffs, Bloomberg was continuing to grow. The company announced a bonus system tied to personal and departmental goals. Terminal revenues are pegged at about $6 billion this year, for example, and if the company reaches $10 billion in sales in four years, every current employee will receive a bonus equivalent to 70 percent of their salary.
Tim Arango contributed reporting.

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