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Bloomberg Putting Its Stamp on BusinessWeek Buy

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Bloomberg LP’s imprint on newly acquired Bloomberg BusinessWeek is becoming stronger. Since the sale closed Dec. 1, the financial news and data giant is making good on its plans to use its own reporters at the weekly.

Of the four covers stories in the Jan. 11 issue, three were written by Bloomberg News staffers, including, notably, Pulitzer Prize winner Dan Golden. And on Dec. 30, Matt Winkler, the Bloomberg editor in chief known for enforcing editorial standards, issued a chiding memo calling out several examples from BusinessWeek that didn’t meet Bloomberg’s strict standards for anonymous sourcing.

Josh Tyrangiel, who was appointed by Bloomberg as the magazine’s new editor, said the weekly would be more sensitive about sourcing in the future. “He’s right,” he said. “Magazine standards for anonymous sourcing are too light, and he's 100 percent right on calling us out on it.”

As for bylines, Tyrangiel said there’s no mandate regarding the use of Bloomberg staffers, but that he would be “crazy” not to take advantage of Bloomberg’s reporting resources. “My job is to put out the best magazine I can put out,” he said. “I’ve been given no instructions from anyone. The only thing my bosses care about is, is it interesting?…I don’t have any recipe or ratio.”

Tyrangiel declined to generalize about plans to change the magazine’s style, including moving it closer to that of Bloomberg, which prides itself on writing for the nonbusiness person although its primary audience is its terminal user. “I’m not a fan of the throat-clearing paragraph,” he said, an approach he noted was rare in Bloomberg stories.

He stressed that stories wouldn’t be "one size fits all," though: “I think our audiences want information quickly. I think there are other times where they want to be told a long story.”

Bloomberg has moved quickly after buying BusinessWeek, putting its name on the title, killing off bimonthly spinoff BusinessWeek SmallBiz and integrating BusinessWeek.com into Bloomberg’s digital arm. Bloomberg execs have revealed plans to increase the number of pages in the magazine, upgrade the paper stock, double the story count and expand global coverage while exploring a strategy to charge for content on its own Web site.

The company also is looking to develop its biggest-scale marketing campaign to date for BusinessWeek and its other brands.