Justin Smith Sets Bloomberg’s Priorities

Announces '100-day' strategy plan, new business hire

It's been pretty quiet since Justin Smith started as CEO of the Bloomberg Media Group Sept. 18. But today, he sent around a memo announcing a “hundred-day strategy process” to chart the company’s course for growth for the next few years. The effort will involve 100-plus people at the company, including many top managers, working in 10 to 15 groups on ways to grow the company's various platforms.

Bloomberg LP’s terminal business pulls in an enviable billions of dollars, but it’s still trying to figure out how to make its media business a household name with consumers. In his memo, Smith, who gained notoriety for his digital results at Atlantic Media, also stressed the importance of making Bloomberg a leader in digital.

To that end, he also announced his first big hire, Zazie Lucke, as head of global advertiser marketing. She’ll be responsible for generating marketing ideas across all platforms and is expected to be heavily involved in the 100-day strategy plan.

Lucke goes back a long way with Smith. She last worked for him as vp of marketing for Atlantic Media, where she was key to developing its native advertising offerings, among other things; and earlier in her career at Dennis Publishing. It may look like a raid, but people familiar with the situation said she was already interviewing at Bloomberg when Smith's hire was announced in July.

She’ll start Oct. 14 and report to Paul Bascobert, COO of the Bloomberg Media Group. Her predecessor, Carl Fischer, will move into a corporate marketing post. In other business-side changes, Bloomberg is losing global sales head Trevor Fellows to rival Dow Jones. Fellows will replace chief revenue officer Michael Rooney, who is leaving for sabbatical. (Dow Jones announced those moves this morning.)  

Read the full text of Smith's memo below:

Dear Colleagues:

I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of you across my first few weeks at Bloomberg and look forward to meeting everyone in person soon.  My first impressions have been extremely positive.  Bloomberg Media Group is uniquely positioned for growth and innovation across our multiple platforms around the world.  To seize these opportunities, we need a clear action plan.  We’ve therefore launched a hundred-day Media Group-wide strategic planning exercise to map our future course across the coming years.  I’ll be back in touch with you with more details on that front in the next few weeks.


Digital Successes and Zazie Lucke Announcement


I have been particularly thrilled to discover an entrepreneurial spirit hard at work across several of our digital platforms.  Bloomberg Media Group is now the leader in business and finance digital video streams for eight months straight with nearly 250% growth in video uniques since November 2012 (the first month comScore tracked us). Another area of digital distinction is Bloomberg Media’s mobile strategy where our products continue to outpace the market.  We are now registering over 11.5 million unique users every month across our numerous mobile platforms. Leading in digital is where we want to be and where we will be focusing our efforts and resources.  Congratulations to the digital video and mobile teams for these impressive results.


To build on this digital success, I am thrilled to announce that Zazie Lucke will be joining Bloomberg Media as the head of global advertiser marketing, reporting to Paul Bascobert. She starts on October 14th and will be based in New York.  Zazie, who joins us from Atlantic Media where she served as Vice President of Marketing, will be tasked with building a market-leading ideas, insights and data-driven marketing capability for all of our media properties.  Zazie will be tasked with nothing less than making Bloomberg Media the leading innovator in cross platform digitally-led marketing.  She'll work to integrate our suite of properties — television, print, digital, mobile, radio, syndication and events — to drive superior, measurable results for our advertising clients.  Zazie is a rare talent.  Please join me in welcoming her to Bloomberg. Carl Fischer, who has led global advertiser marketing for the last three years, will be moving into his previously announced role as head of global brand integration in Bloomberg’s corporate marketing group.


Additional Leadership Changes


I also want to inform you of some changes in Bloomberg Media’s leadership ranks that have coincided with the beginning of my tenure. 


I am saddened to announce that two of Bloomberg Media Group’s longstanding leaders have decided to leave the company and pursue new directions.  Trevor Fellows, head of Global Sales, is leaving the firm.  Malcolm Fried, head of Bloomberg TV for EMEA in London, is joining a start-up in the content space. 


On an interim basis, I have asked Paul Bascobert to take on Trevor’s direct reports while we determine next steps.  At Bloomberg TV in London, Parry Ravindranathan, the head of Bloomberg TV Asia/Pacific, will step in to manage EMEA in addition to Asia while we develop a more permanent structure.  Paul and Parry are talented and experienced managers with strong track records of success.  Please join me in thanking them for taking on these additional interim responsibilities while we develop our new strategy.


I’ll be in touch again soon with more details on our hundred-day strategy process.  In the meantime, thank you for your commitment and hard work.   As I’ve said to many of you, my main request of each of you is to think and act like entrepreneurs.  That’s the only way we’ll successfully navigate media disruption and build a lasting world-class global media company. 


Best regards,



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