Bloomberg News is set to lay off about 90 editorial employees, including senior editors in Europe, according to people familiar with the matter, as part of a global restructuring of its media division.
Editor John Micklethwait told staff on Thursday that the restructuring aimed to streamline the editing process and help it become more “nimble”.
The lay-offs were not driven by the financial performance of Bloomberg LP, said a person familiar with the situation. “We have enormous resources; we should use them as well as we can,” Micklethwait said in an internal memo obtained by the Financial Times.
Bloomberg intends to hire more people in areas like data journalism, and end this year with the same number of journalists as it had before the pandemic, according to the memo.
The news division that sits within billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s financial data company is one of the world’s largest employers of journalists. Bloomberg News has about 2,700 reporters and editors competing to break news on any story likely to give users of its 325,000 financial data terminals an edge.
Bloomberg LP makes most of its money selling data terminals to financial customers.
Under the leadership of Justin Smith, chief executive, Bloomberg Media has been searching for lines of business that would offer respite from more challenging television, print and radio markets.
Smith has pushed into events and consumer subscriptions, which have become the driving force of growth for media companies ranging from The New York Times to Netflix.
Smith told the FT last year that live events made up nearly 15 per cent of revenues for Bloomberg’s news division. However, events have been hit hard by the coronavirus, leading many conferences to either be cancelled or held online.
The pandemic has ravaged advertising revenue, resulting in job cuts in newsrooms across the industry.
However, subscriptions have grown as readers flocked to reliable information during the tumultuous time, boosting sign-ups to The New York Times and other publications. Bloomberg Media anticipates reaching 400,000 consumer subscribers this year, making it a nine-figure business, according to an internal memo.