Matthew Winkler was down under last week, and on top of the world. The Bloomberg co-founder interviewed the Aussie prime minister, and gushed in a laudatory Australian profile that "it's really an extraordinary time to be around, to be alive, to be a journalist — to be at Bloomberg News.'' One of his reporters very much disagreed. (Or not — see her statement in the update below.)
Gemma Daley shared a joint byline with Winkler on his big September 16 interview with PM Julia Gillard. The reporter was apparently so impressed working hand in hand with the editor in chief of Bloomberg News that she immediately resigned.
It's not clear exactly what the bow tied editor did to rile his charge. Stateside Bloomberg journalists, who have taken a keen interest in the incident, gossip that Winkler blew his top after some sort of mess was made of the story in the back and forth between Winkler, Daley and a tinkering editor. Or maybe Winkler, a pedant infamous for his short temper, just got angry once again over some copy style mundanity. Daley, in any case, is said to have taken the blame, and then to have immediately departed the company. Her email autoresponder would seem to confirm that, informing correspondents that "your Bloomberg contact has changed." We've been unable to connect with her (or Winkler) through other channels. But we presume Daley is happy to have escaped Winkler's notorious tirades, memos and metrics. And Winkler's no doubt relieved that Daley's blaze of glory departure wasn't splashed across thousands of Bloomberg terminals as with a different disgruntled foreign journalist. (Further details to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Update: A Bloomberg spokesman tells us, "Gemma left the company on the best of terms. What you describe in your item is untrue and simply didn't happen." Given the collection of legends about past explosive departures floating around Bloomberg newsrooms, it's certainly possible the gossip mill went into overdrive about a simple coincidence of timing. We're still waiting to hear back from Daley herself.
Update 2: Daley writes, "I had a wonderful time at Bloomberg News and fully enjoyed working with Matt. I simply accepted a position elsewhere and that's all that has happened. What you have is untrue."
We've changed the headline, which originally implied Daley was angry with Winkler.
[Pic: Daley via Daley/Facebook. Winkler, inset, via AP.]