Bloomberg News is laying off about 90 staffers across the editorial and research departments after management concluded editors “moved too slowly” on stories. According to one source familiar with the company’s plan to “reorganize,” in editor in chief John Micklethwait’s words, the cuts affect less than 3% of the staff in those departments.
In an email obtained by TheWrap, Micklethwait praised Bloomberg journalists for adapting to working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Then, he shared why leaders have decided to “reorganize.”
“However, we all know that we also ‘lost’ stories because we moved too slowly. Teams waited for somebody to back-read a piece or ignored the requests from the News Desk to get a blast out quickly. Managers spent too much time setting up conference calls when they should just have been writing. Or teams suddenly delivered enterprise pieces that nobody wanted,” he wrote. “Covid has highlighted these strengths and weaknesses. But in truth they have been evident for some time. We need to have more ownership and accountability.”
The new structure, he said, prioritizes editing and accountability and does away with back-reading and re-editing.
“Agility matters. Yes, editors may have areas of specialization and of course we should draw on that expertise, but that doesn’t mean they should edit stories in only that field. Editors should want to work across a variety of stories to make their own jobs more interesting and to continue to challenge themselves. The attitude has to change from ‘not my patch’ to ‘all hands on deck,’ with more editors picking up stories and getting them done,” he said.
Micklethwait’s email did not specify when the layoffs would occur but wrote, “I am not going to pretend today is a happy day for the newsroom.”
Bloomberg did not respond to TheWrap’s request for coment.