Bloomberg Presses ‘Go’ On Morning Show Co-Hosted By Former ABC News Chief


David Westin has moved from being the person who had the ultimate behind-the-scenes say over “Good Morning America” on ABC to one of the people in front of the camera for an important morning effort from Bloomberg.

Westin, the former president of ABC News, will work with Bloomberg anchor Stephanie Ruhle to deliver “Bloomberg <GO>,” a new morning program that the business-news giant hopes will make a splash beyond its time slot. Executives at Bloomberg think “Go,” which will air between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Bloomberg TV starting October 5, will cultivate a crowd beyond traders seeking tips before the U.S. stock market opens, such as financial executives in Hong Kong or business leaders seeking new ideas from video delivered via tablet or smartphone.

The two vow they won’t focus overmuch on the usual business-news chit-chat, like whether the Dow Jones Industrial Average is going up or down or stock-picking. “Our audience will be impatient with that sort of stuff. They are busy people who want to get something they can use something they aren’t going to get somewhere else,” said Westin in an interview Friday afternoon. “If we don’t give them that, they are going to go on to somewhere else.”

“Go,” named for the button that executes commands on the Bloomberg news-and-data terminal that fuels the company’s coffers, is part of a broader effort to expand the company’s influence beyond Wall Street. Since the return of Michael Bloomberg, the company’s founder, to its top post after a long stint as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg has taken steps to cultivate a broader audience of high-income consumers focused on business and wealth. The new show “is really designed to be the smartest morning show, the most intelligent morning show on television,” said Justin Smith, the chief executive of Bloomberg Media.

“At a lot of our competitors and morning shows, there is a breathless quality to them. There is an excitedness and a lot of opinion.” The new “Go,” he said, aims to play up the knowledge and experience of operatives at Bloomberg, whether they hail from the reporting trenches, monitor industries at the company’s Bloomberg Intelligence unit, or have a certain analytical expertise at the Bloomberg View commentary operation.

“Go” launches after Bloomberg has shuffled the executives who oversee its TV operations. Claudia Milne, who was brought over from BBC News to supervise Bloomberg TV, has moved to tackle special projects. Al Mayers, who also runs Bloomberg’s radio operations, has expanded his aegis to television. Despite the executive change and some recent news reports of people leaving Bloomberg TV in recent weeks, “the mission for the television network is unchanged,” said Smith.

Bloomberg executives see an important and growing viewer base eager to consume information via streaming video. The company’s cable network isn’t just for TV viewers, but for consumers who are able to access the content through digital streaming around the world. “Go” will be the third new offering from Bloomberg TV, following the launch of “With All Due Respect,” a political-news program led by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, and “What’d You Miss,” a closing-bell program hosted by former “Business Insider” staffer Joe Weisenthal and Alix Steel.

The show won’t limit itself to the breaking news of the day, Ruhle said, but will try to give viewers unique insight into where industry and markets are going. A typical program might delve into the business of sports or the business of fashion, she suggested, or tackle topics like the culture of corporate leadership or the future of connected fitness. “Go” would rather talk to the chief executive of a consumer-focused company about what sorts of things people are buying or the biggest challenges of running a company, she said, than getting a booster-ish speech about the company’s latest earnings results.

She wants to close the show every day knowing “we gave them content that made them have an edge over their competition.”

Westin’s appearance might strike some as odd. Most TV-news executives don’t wind up with on-screen careers later on in life and don’t often seek them out. Steve Capus, the former head of editorial operations at NBC News, is now the top producer behind the scenes at “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” for example. Westin’s arrival at Bloomberg, which was announced in June, comes after Smith began to canvass different media-industry folk about unconventional personalities.

A lunch with former “Good Morning America” and “World News” anchor Charlie Gibson put the idea in his head, he said. “We weren’t going to fish in traditional waters. We weren’t dialing up our competitors and saying, ‘Would you come over here?’” Smith explained. Gibson cited Westin’s intelligence and aptitude for on-camera work and Smith was impressed by his non-TV pedigree: Westin once served as a Supreme Court clerk. Earlier this month, Westin interviewed Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and elicited some news: Buffett said he agreed with Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on aspects of tax policy.

Westin sees massive differences in the audience for “Go” and the one for one of his old charges, “Good Morning America.” The ABC News audience, he suggested, wants a little bit of everything, but doesn’t necessarily need all of it. “I think the audience we are appealing to is one of the only new audiences who truly need the information we are giving them.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Dave says:

    Watching your hosts is getting nauseating, as they assert that Trump is getting votes due to his harsh words, and vulgarity. I have a news flash for YOU., Trump is getting strong support not only from angry blue collar voters, he is getting tremendous support from highly educated, upper middle class moderates and independents like me! Has it not occurred to you folks that Donald Trump is by far the most likely Presidential candidate that will act in the interest of America and American values, rather than in the interests of the proven corrupt, manipulating special interests and has the talent, and contacts to succeed (unlike the outsider Ben Carson)? Rubio is funded by Zionist interests, for example, Norman Braman and other large establishment institutions that will demand and get a return on their investment. Maybe that is why Bloomberg and other lib outlets are infatuated with Rubio? Trump is the candidate of capitalists, Bernie is the candidate of Socialists. IMO Rubio the darling of Israel is a crony only candidate, willing to sell himself and ideals. Only a moron believes what we have had, under the last 16 years of Bush and Obama is free market capitalism, it is more a mix of crony capitalism and socialism (Obamacare, Patriot Act, Union workers making 2x free market workers, bank bailouts, stimulus of $700B that was a veritable waste and pork barrel for special friends of Comrade Obama, a $2B website for ACA that a dozen top notch Stamford Computer Science grad students could have delivered for 1% of that price tag in half the time!) . The Banks/Brokerages/Pharmas/Insurance Companies/Military Industrial Complex are all in control of the system with undue influence with lobbyists that get their interests put in front of the average American. If you do not see this is the major appeal of Tump you are blind or lying. Since we know you are not blind then you are biased and coin operated. The fantasy island of Manhattan is getting blindsided by Trump’s appeal. That’s just astonishing to me. Manhattan, the center of the liberal elite world, where it is chic to deprecate any candidate that does not bow to your conventions and pretentious sensibilities. NYC also disdained or rejected Mitt Romney, who was overly polite and soft-spoken, which would indicate that your fantasy island of Bloomberg in Manhattan is simply a bastion of liberals, giving us commentary that is far from objective or at least clearly clueless about anticipating Trump’s success and negligent about reporting on the reasons for that success.– you can bet its not just his bad mouth that has gotten him this far you dolts….
    Well at least you are able to get the best guests, like Jim Rickards, so I will continue to watch your show, but only after my meal is fully digested……..

  2. Bruce Walker says:

    Superb interview with Harold Hamm today 13/1/16

More TV News from Variety