Bloomberg Buys BusinessWeekS

As expected, Bloomberg has won the bidding for Businessweek magazine, beating out the investment firm ZelnickMedia. They ended up paying more than the cost of McChicken, after all.

Businessweek's Tom Lowry reports:

But knowledgeable sources say that Bloomberg's cash offer is in the $2 million to $5 million range and that it has agreed to assume liabilities, including potential severance payments. It remains to be seen how much of the magazine's 400-plus staff Bloomberg plans to cut, but reports of a planned scorched earth campaign are overblown, say sources.

Indeed, our own sources also shot down a report earlier this week that Bloomberg had plans to dump virtually the entire staff at BW. Which is not to say that the magazine's employees should feel safe; it's still early in the process, but Bloomberg is reportedly considering a range of options including merging its own website with Bloomberg's. All signs point to probably layoffs at BW out of necessity, but Bloomberg is almost certainly not going to be as ruthless in cutbacks as a more financially-strapped buyer would have been.

Several million for the magazine is not so bad, by today's standards. By the standards of, say, five years ago, it's awful.