Bloomberg Execs on David Westin, Paywalls and Playtime for the One Percent

The roster of media mavens, moguls and bold face names spotted today at Michael's.

lunch at michaels With all this talk of the care and feeding of New York’s one percenters fueling the city’s tabloids these days, it seemed only fitting that this week’s lunch at Michael’s was with Paul Caine and Jacki Kelley of Bloomberg Media Group, a company which is central to the life of masters and mistresses of the universe all over the world.

Paul Caine, Diane Clehane and Jacki Kelley
Paul Caine, Diane Clehane and Jacki Kelley
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Paul is global chief revenue and client partnerships officer at Bloomberg Media Group, Bloomberg L.P.’s global multi-platform media organization. It encompasses the entire Bloomberg media empire: web, mobile, television, digital video, radio, print magazines and live events platforms. Prior to joining Bloomberg, he was CEO of Westwood One, the largest independent national audio media company in North America. In a matter of months, Paul rebranded the company and oversaw its sale to Cumulus Media Inc. for $260 million. (In a bit of fortuitous timing, two of Westwood One’s former CEOs, David Landau and Spencer Brown, stopped by our table to say hello.) I’ve known Paul since his days at Time Inc. and he’s always been, without doubt, one of the nicest guys in the business.

I’d never met Jacki before, but her reputation as an industry powerhouse certainly preceded her. (Everyone from Crains to Business Insider has tapped her as one of the most influential women in advertising and she’s been honored by several organizations including New York WICI and Advertising Women of New York) Jacki joined Bloomberg Media as COO a year ago and since then, has relaunched the company’s flagship digital destination, Bloomberg Business with stellar results. In her prior post, she was CEO for IPG Mediabrands North America and President of Global Clients where she led IPG’s successful bid for all of Microsoft’s creative and deployment work globally. Under her leadership, Bloomberg has seen a double-digit bump in traffic since January and had its best traffic month ever in April, with 20.8 million uniques, surpassing The Wall Street Journal for the first time. “That was really significant because we are a digital company first,” Paul told me. And one which currently has 90 million video streams per month.

The numbers Paul and Jacki were reeling off during lunch were indeed head-spinning. Bloomberg terminal owners (whose MHI is $576,000) are forking over an average $25,000 for their annual subscription. So the bar, to say the least, is set very high. Aside from providing the world’s top-tier influencers up to the minute (literally) news on the global markets, finance, technology and politics, Bloomberg is now poised to command the same authority on the leisure pursuits of their discerning customers.

Last week, Bloomberg Media unveiled the redesigned Bloomberg Pursuits magazine, a quarterly guide to the burgeoning luxury market, which is sent to terminal subscribers who opt-in to receive it. “A very elite and elusive audience,” noted Paul. Advertisers for the first issue include Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Hermès. Where all of Bloomberg’s other media properties encourage a ‘Lean In’ mentality, Paul explained Bloomberg Pursuits, edited by Emma Rosenblum, is all about ‘leaning back’ offering readers curated information and inspiration on how to spend their most valuable commodity of all — their leisure time. Like all of Bloomberg’s other editorial products, editorial content from Bloomberg Pursuits will figure prominently on all platforms: mobile, television, digital video, print, radio and live events. The Summer 2015 issue features tennis star Maria Sharapova on the cover.

Fondly recalling those days not too long ago when the city seemed like it was in a lot better shape under the Bloomberg administration, I asked Paul and Jacki how Michael Bloomberg‘s legendary work ethic and fierce independence shapes the company and its products. “Bloomberg’s different business model allows us a different long-term prospective and to invest differently. It allows us to be more ambitious,” said Jacki. Paul weighed in saying, “We don’t spend time thinking about advertising models, we think about providing great content. Some media companies create vehicles just to serve advertisers.” Using Pursuits as an example, Paul told me the reboot wasn’t designed to attract advertisers, “but they love the quality of the audience.”