Here’s one we missed from over the weekend: Keith Kelly checks in on Bloomberg LP, whose financial terminal business slumped (2.5%) last year for the first time in its almost 30-year history. As a result, the company is aiming for its media properties, which include Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Markets, and BloombergTV and radio (which comprise about 12% of overall revenues) to turn a profit.”We want to and will have our media properties stand on their own financially,” said Dan Doctoroff, the former Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, who became the CEO of Bloomberg L.P. in January 2008, just in time for the Great Recession.
“Media was initially conceived as marketing for the terminals, but we don’t see it that way anymore,” Doctoroff added.
And it seems like they’re well on their way. Kelly reports:
- Bloomberg’s media business will have expanded by 25% by the end of the year with more than 2,500 journalists in 146 bureaus in 72 countries
- More than 100 journalists have been added in the past year; about 100 more are being hired for the company’s new D.C. venture, Bloomberg Government (BGov).
- Bloomberg TV has cut its losses by half in the past two years.
- Businessweek is expected to be profitable in four years. (For some context, it lost $60 million last year.)
An analyst who covers Bloomberg’s primary competitor, Reuters, told Kelly: “Bloomberg has more than held its own,” adding that Reuters, too, has seen its revenues dip over the past few years.
But Thomson Reuters, as we recently reported, now has 3,000 journalists (including a growing number of high-profile ones); is expanding its professional editorial products; and is similarly ramping up its coverage of the intersection of business and politics in D.C. It also recently launched a terminal-like financial platform and a financial web video service. So with Bloomberg making a bigger push in the media sphere, it seems like the rivalry could really heat up.
[DISCLOSURE: I occasionally freelance for Businessweek.]
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