Stepping up the expansion of its news ops, Bloomberg has hired Andrew Lack to run its reconfigured multimedia unit.
Lack, a longtime exec at NBC and CBS, most recently served as chairman and chief exec at Sony BMG. As of November, he will lead the group that includes Bloomberg’s website, TV channel and radio efforts.
Lack said the timing of his move was fortuitous, given the magnitude of the news coming out of the world’s financial markets.
“The story of the financial crisis isn’t going away. It’s going to reverberate for many years to come and it’s a global story,” Lack told Daily Variety. “You can’t be a news organization and not cover it. And Bloomberg has the resources to tell that story.”
Bloomberg prexy Dan Doctoroff called Lack “a news legend” whose experiences “qualify him uniquely.” Lack spent nearly 20 years as a producer and an exec at CBS News and NBC News before moving into senior management. He was tapped by his former CBS News boss, Howard Stringer, to lead Sony BMG in 2003.
At Bloomberg, Lack will work closely with Bloomberg News founder and editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler and chief content officer Norm Pearlstine. He will report to Doctoroff, as do Winkler and Pearlstine.
There are 2,300 staffers in Bloomberg’s 140 worldwide bureaus. The TV channel is now in 58 million homes and the website ranks in the top 10 of most visited financial sites.
Company chairman Peter Grauer said Lack’s hiring reflects Bloomberg’s investment in news content. Pearlstine, a noted alum of Time Inc. and the Wall Street Journal, came aboard in June. “These turbulent times create huge demand for our products,” Grauer said. “While other news organizations are shrinking, we continue to expand, improving our existing products while investing in new ones.”
TV ratings for CNBC and Fox Business have spiked over the past month, as has traffic for MarketWatch and Yahoo Finance. Bloomberg also competes in many areas with Thomson Reuters, which has spent heavily on a rebranding campaign since the merger of Thomson Corp. and Reuters Group earlier this year.