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First Mover: Andrew Morse

Bloomberg’s new head of television on attacking the 'biggest story in the country'

Photo: Elizabeth Lippman

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How do you define your new role at Bloomberg? Right off the bat you are doing GOP debates. What’s the strategy there?
We’re an organization that is growing, thriving, ambitious, and aggressive, and the only thing that is holding us back right now is honestly our own imagination. So to have this presidential debate right out of the gate and to be able to put a marker in the ground to say Bloomberg TV is going to be a major player in focusing on the single biggest story in the country right now, it’s an exciting way to start.

Do you see yourself competing with or trying to be like a CNBC or a Fox Business, or something else?
The competitive landscape is more than just CNBC and Fox. Our goal is to be the most influential business and financial news organization on the planet. We want to be competitive in this space not just on linear television by the way, but across the media spectrum.

Let’s talk about neighborhooding. Are you targeting the New York market specifically? Are you looking to buy your way in?
The goal is to get Bloomberg TV in front of as many eyeballs as possible—not just as a linear cable network, but as a multi-platform network. We want to be aggressive in mobile, we want to be aggressive on the Web, we want to be aggressive on TV, we want to be aggressive on cable. That’s what you saw at the debate. People showed up to watch us across a variety of platforms and that to me is as exciting as anything else.

Are you developing new shows?
We have a program broadcast from the studio in San Francisco, with anchors devoted to covering innovation, technology, and the future. Our morning program, Inside Track, is featuring a new anchor team. When people wake up, especially people in the financial world, they don’t have time to waste. They want to know what’s going on, they want access to information, they want context—what really happened throughout the day. By the same token, the closing bell is a pivotal moment, especially in these times of great volatility. We have a new anchor team on Street Smart. The goal on that program is the notion that every closing is an opening. Every buy has a sell and every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Your background is not in business or finance. Has there been a learning curve for you?
For me certainly there’s been a learning curve, but for me it’s been an exciting one. I moved to Asia to be the ABC News bureau chief at 26 years old. I had never been to Asia, never really read much about Asia, and knew very little about Asia. But I jumped into it and embraced it. I’m approaching with eyes wide open here as well.

Is ABC’s deal with Yahoo just another gimmicky partnership or is it going to go somewhere?
I was not a part of the Yahoo negotiations. The Yahoo deal is something to watch, that every news organization is watching in terms of a great innovative partnership. A lot depends on the execution, and I think everybody is excited to how that relation plays out.

What was it like working with Ben Sherwood? He’s pretty polarizing.
I’ve never had anything but a terrific relationship with Ben. Ben is a longtime friend and a mentor and when he was at ABC during his Good Morning America tenure, I had just come back from overseas. Ben taught me a lot and I am grateful for the lessons he taught me.

Your take on Occupy Wall Street?
There’s clearly a sentiment being expressed in downtown Manhattan, across the country, and around the world that people are disenchanted. We have been covering the protests and we’ll continue to do so, as we strive to inform our audience about what’s happening and why.