Business news and financial data firm Bloomberg has begun the process of cutting 90 editorial positions from its 2,400 person staff. According to knowledgeable sources that spoke to the Wall Street Journal, after the targeted layoffs, the firm intends to hire several dozen new employees to create fast commentary and morning briefing teams, and to beef up Bloomberg’s ability to cover breaking news stories. The source also said that the cuts will be spread out across various locations and that the overall editorial head count at Bloomberg will probably stay close to the same.
Of note, laying off 90 employees represents a close to 4% reduction in the total editorial workforce at Bloomberg.
The WSJ source also claimed that new Bloomberg editor in chief John Micklethwait was going to inform a number of the impacted employees himself.
More on new directions at Bloomberg
The new shake-up at Bloomberg comes close to a year after founder Michael Bloomberg came back to take control of the media conglomerate. The company has since developed a large consumer-facing news platform focused on new digital products to complement the firm’s flagship financial terminal operations.
The media giant cranked out a solid $9 billion in revenue in 2014. Bloomberg financial data terminals, which cost $20,000 a year and account for 85% of total revenue, are a mainstay of global trading floors. Some of that revenue is spent on the news division including the financial newswire, BusinessWeek magazine, and a broad variety of radio and TV programs.
Shortly after Micklethwait took the chief editor position a few months ago, upper management at the company has seen a good deal of turnover.
Industry analysts point out that several major media companies have laid off editorial staff recently. The Wall Street Journal undertook a strategic layoff process this summer that could reduce the headcount by more than 100, as a part of a reorganization to focus more on digital media and core business coverage. Also of note, the New York Times severed relations with close to 100 employees through a combination of buyouts and layoffs. The NYT has, however, recently hired more than a dozen graphic artists, video producers and digitally focused staff. USA Today (owned by Gannett), the largest daily newspaper in the U.S., undertook a layoff of 8% of its staff, around 70 people, late last year.