'The Salad Days Are Over at Bloomberg:' Dispatches From Inside America's Most Paranoid Media Company

Last week, we brought you some firsthand cries of rage, despair, and frustration from inside Bloomberg headquarters. The most paranoid headquarters in all of the New York media world? A strong contender, at least.

How paranoid are Bloomberg staffers? We've already heard that they can't leak documents because "every email... in or out is tracked." Bloomberg's internal security force, employees believe, actively monitors employee communications—not only by reading their emails, but by keeping them under constant video surveillance at work—which serves to keep employees terrified. After our two posts on Friday, one staffer—who was presumably considering becoming a source—emailed to ask how he could be sure that Bloomberg didn't hire us "to find employees who complain."

Now that is world-class paranoia. Other staffers did email us, at length, but begged that their emails not be published. From the emails we've received, we can make the following general observations:

  • Andrew Morse, the head of Bloomberg TV, has some extremely vehement detractors. Their common complaints are that he is not competent for his position, too insulated in his job, or both.
  • Bloomberg insiders believe that Andrew Lack, the former NBC president who has been the head of Bloomberg's multimedia group for more than three years, is not safe in his job.
  • Employee dissatisfaction and, most notably, fear of management is not confined to Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

Finally, we leave you with one more gloomy rant from a Bloomberg insider:

I've been at Bloomberg for years and today's story, while funny and accurate really isn't terribly revelatory. There is a story though at Bloomberg. Particularly at Bloomberg TV which may be in its final spin of a death spiral.
Lack is out by year end. He's already emotionally checked out. He never really fully signed on to Bloomberg in certain ways. Always held most of the employees at arms length like they had a disease. That disease being overall wonkishness and crippling low ratings.
Morse is totally in over his head. Completely. He has no knowledge of financial news, how this operation works or even who the audience is. (What audience, you ask). He has surrounded himself with all these ABC people who are equally inept and out of their league. Morse was brought in, many believe, after David Rhodes left because Andy never wanted anyone to come in again and then go on to take a better job than he has. Rhodes may have been icy and was responsible for laying off all those people in one day, but the place was better for it. It really started to go somewhere with him. People felt like something was coming together.
There has been a sizable exodus at Bloomberg TV recently. Of course PA's and AP's and reporters always move on in news. That's not news. But in recent weeks and months there have been several big exits, the most high profile is Dan Colarusso. Dan was nearly universally liked by everyone and more importantly, respected. He has news judgement. He had his favorites and those on his shit-list, but no one ever questioned the stories covered. He got fed up and left for Reuters in December. The ship is rudderless. Clueless. Stories are covered days late. No one in charge has any idea what's important. It's bad.
So that brings us to what's next. Bloomberg TV has always been a money loser at a company that makes a lot of money. It was an expense they lived with since it was an easy way to market things on the terminal and a way to have another platform other than wire, web, print and radio. But the salad days are over at Bloomberg. Terminal sales aren't what they once were and may never be again. They have expanded into every market they could. Revenues may be relatively flat for terminal sales for a while. So, with Lack likely leaving and TV in an editorial tailspin many have been wondering if Doctoroff, Grauer, etc. think its worth having Bloomberg TV at all?

Bloomberg staffers who want to share thoughts, scandalous gossip, or internal documents can direct them here.

Previously
A Handwritten Cry for Help From Inside the Bloomberg Mothership
Bloomberg Employees Are Bravely Speaking Out About Their Weirdo Workplace

[Photo: Bernhard Suter/ Flickr. Image by Jim Cooke]