Thursday 21 September 2017

Bad news at Bloomberg

THE PUNT was chilled to learn that Bloomberg has started laying off staff.

Bloomberg has always avoided the sort of layoffs that are common in other organisations, and one of the company's basic beliefs, inculcated in generations of reporters, is that mass lay-offs are a sign of failure rather than a sign of corporate virility.

That concept remains valid. It has also seemed strange to The Punt that the chief executive of company X gets a cheer from the market when he sacks 20,000 employees to cut costs. Any chief executive who allows that sort of fat in his company should have lost his job long before he gets to sack so many others.

Bloomberg is a well-run and highly profitable company, which probably explains why it has avoided the sort of layoffs that are common elsewhere until now.

The layoffs will hit several departments, including culture and sports, according to an email from editor in chief Matt Winkler. The company is scaling back its art coverage and eliminating the Muse brand. It will stop covering sports matches and focus more on sports stories that intersect with business. Bloomberg is also centralising some departments, including the investigative unit.

The layoffs come at a difficult time for news wires in general. Reuters has also recently announced layoffs. Bloomberg's main rival laid off almost 5pc of its 3,000-person news team. Let's hope this spells an end to the bad news for news wires.

Irish Independent

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