John Micklethwait, the top editor of Bloomberg News, blasted the rank and file for spotty performance over the past year as he unveiled cuts of approximately 90 people in the editorial and research departments.
The cuts amount to just under 3 percent of the employees that currently number about 3,100.
“As a newsroom, we have learnt a lot over the past 12 months,” Micklethwait, who took the helm at Bloomberg News in 2015 after a stint atop The Economist, wrote in a memo obtained by Media Ink. “At our best, we have been unbeatable.”
But then he lowered the hammer — taking particular aim at foot-dragging in the newsroom.
“We all know that we also ‘lost’ stories because we moved too slowly,” he continued. “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.
“Covid has highlighted these strengths and weaknesses. But in truth they have been evident for some time.”
Most of the cuts are in the editorial ranks which he is attempting to engineer to move stories more quickly.
“This was not a step that we took lightly. But we have always sought to make the newsroom better — to make us more nimble, to improve our content, and to help us ‘chronicle capitalism’ in an even more comprehensive way.”
“A system that relies on somebody further down the production line correcting errors means nobody owns a story,” Micklethwait added. “We need accountability: you sign off on a story only when you think it is ready to publish. You are responsible for it. We also need editors who can work for more than one team.”
A spokeswoman declined to comment when asked if any particular stories triggered the outburst for the company owned by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg.