There’s been another high-level change at Bloomberg Government, the ambitious government reporting arm Bloomberg LP started a year ago, with Chris Walters, who led the unit’s development, leaving for The Weather Channel.
Bloomberg reportedly spent $100 million to launch BGov, a product for Beltway players that set out to rival Washington news sources like Politico, National Journal Group and CQ Roll Call. With BGov, Bloomberg set to prove that its lucrative financial services model, for which subscribers pay $20,000 a year, could be translated to other topics.
To differentiate its offering and get potential clients for the $5,700 annual service, BGov took a unique approach to covering the government, pairing journalists with policy analysts to collaborate on stories and white papers. The goal was, as Poynter reported at length, to bring context to data insights.
BGov has since separated the staffs and relocated the analysts to other offices, with both groups now reporting to separate editors.
People with knowledge of the service say there was tension between the two groups, with journalists feeling they had to correct the analysts’ work. It's certainly true that reporters and analysts go by very different paces, the former being breaking-news driven and the latter working on long-term research projects. A Bloomberg rep explained the reporting structure change this way: “As they worked together, they realized having more clear reporting lines between analysts and news helped them work more efficiently.”
Walters' departure leaves BGov co-founder Don Baptiste in charge. Norm Pearlstine and Kevin Sheekey continue as co-chairmen.