Layoffs at Bloomberg News Show Shift in Priorities

Bloomberg News logoBloomberg News laid off dozens of staffers and eliminated some positions today in an effort to shift resources within the company.

“One lesson we learned was that we must have the courage to say no to certain areas of coverage in order to have enough firepower in areas we want to own,” editor in chief Matthew Winkler wrote in an email that went out to the newsroom this evening.

“We were able to reassign a number of people to new positions, and we are grateful for the contributions of those who no longer can be part of our organization,” Mr. Winkler continued. “We are convinced that the changes will help us take Bloomberg News to another level of influence.”

Among those who are no longer part of the news organization are technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky and book-review editor Laurie Muchnick, both of whom announced on Twitter that they had been laid off today.

Some areas of coverage that the company has decided to say no to are arts and sports. But the company is beefing up its ‘first word’ and emerging markets sections–apparently, those are areas that Bloomberg News would like to own.

Full email below:

To Bloomberg News

When we announced the management reorganization a little more than a month ago, we said we wanted to be ideally positioned for growth, foster deeper collaboration, and develop our news products. Since then, we evaluated everything we’re doing to determine what’s working and what isn’t, with the single aim to ensure all we do has maximum impact. One lesson we learned was that we must have the courage to say no to certain areas of coverage in order to have enough firepower in areas we want to own.

It’s against this backdrop that we had to make some difficult decisions today. We were able to reassign a number of people to new positions, and we are grateful for the contributions of those who no longer can be part of our organization. We are convinced that the changes will help us take Bloomberg News to another level of influence.

We decided to scale back arts coverage and no longer use the Muse brand, and we’ll align our leisure reporting with Pursuits and the luxury channel on the Web. Executive Editor Manuela Hoelterhoff, who initiated luxury coverage at Bloomberg, will now oversee new book projects while continuing the cultural coverage for which she received a Pulitzer Prize and Guggenheim fellowship. We will create an editing hub for the Projects team in Washington and no longer have editors dispersed around the world, to further empower the writers; we decided to focus our AV team on LIVE , which terminal customers depend on, and stop the parallel editing of video that the multimedia team already does. We also decided to concentrate our sports coverage on the nexus with business and no longer do match reports. In beat reporting, we identified some savings thanks to closer collaboration among the newly united teams.

The changes today are a precursor for significant growth in 2014, especially in First Word and Emerging Markets. We also have high ambitions for beat and investigative reporting, and Bloomberg News will be bigger next year than it was at the end of October. Our commitment to the best journalism — both this-just-in and in-depth narratives — has never been greater.

Thank you for your exceptional work and dedication.

Best, MW