How is Matthew Winkler, bow-tied tyrant-in-chief at Bloomberg News, quashing his staffers' dreams today? By making his underlings suffer because of a grudge he has against one of the world's most prestigious papers, according to an insider [UPDATED below].

A Bloomberg employee tells us:

Bloomberg recently introduced "metrics,'' an arbitrary, computerized numbers game for judging employees' performance. One yardstick is the number of newspaper pickups a reporter has. When one Bloomberg journalist recently pointed out his good showing in the IHT, a senior editor replied with a North Korean-style straight face, "the Herald Tribune doesn't count for pickups.''

And why wouldn't the IHT be counted? Our tipster says it's because Winkler "declared it off-limits" because he's still angry about the paper signing a contract with rival Reuters two years ago. Is that The Bloomberg Way? We've emailed Bloomberg for comment and we'll update if we hear from them.

UPDATE: A Bloomberg spokesperson's comment: "It's not true. Newspaper pickup is not a metric."