Bloomberg’s New Business-News Site a Sign of Company’s Ambitions

Michael Bloomberg
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Bloomberg LP has launched what it hopes will be a simple solution to an intriguing challenge: how to take all the information, analysis and reporting it produces every day for a proprietary news service, weekly magazine, a group of radio stations and a cable-TV network and get it in front of a broader crowd for which business news is just as important as news about the latest cultural trends or political shifts.

The answer, the company hopes, is to be found on its new site, Bloomberg Business (found at Bloomberg.com). Stories available on just its second day of existence included meat-and-potatoes stuff like Chinese Internet company Alibaba missing revenue estimates, sure, but also a bloggy look at why McDonald’s Corp., striving to better its sales despite a U.S. consumer base eager for healthier eating options, finds it so hard to change. Content from Bloomberg View, a unit devoted to opinion and analysis, is also available.

The site is a curator of sorts, explained Josh Topolsky, editor of Bloomberg Digital, in an interview. “This is really a blend of the best of everything, from BusinessWeek, from Bloomberg News, from radio. In some cases, the new outlet will feature original pieces crafted using data. “We are also adapting the pieces that are coming in from a lot of these points so they can play for the right audience in the right space.”

Bloomberg is a force in business journalism and has been for years, since hard-driving entrepreneur founder Michael Bloomberg found a way to compete against what were at one time more established players like Reuters and Dow Jones Newswires. These days, however, Bloomberg is part of the establishment itself. And it wants to find a way to reach a broader audience than the one focused on gleaning information that will help them trade stocks at a second’s notice.

The site’s debut would seem to dovetail with the ambitions of the company’s founder, who rejoined Bloomberg after ending his third term as mayor of New York City. “Bloomberg Business unifies our news and media assets, something I’ve been particularly focused on since returning to the company last year,” said Michael Bloomberg, the company’s chief executive, in a statement. “For the first time, our users will easily be able to capitalize on the combined strengths of our global media assets, which are unmatched.”

The company expects the new site to help it vie for consumer attention with such broad outlets as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, said Justin Smith, chief executive of Bloomberg Media, in an interview. Other efforts devoted to politics (already found in a sub-vertical on Bloomberg.com) and technology are in the planning stages, he said.