Bloomberg Media has gone ahead with a massive re-org, with the most significant change being global head of TV and radio Al Mayers retiring from the company.
Bloomberg Media CEO M. Scott Havens and Bloomberg editor in chief John Micklethwait announced the news in a staff memo Friday morning.
New York Times media reporter Ben Mullin was on it early.
Mayers has called Bloomberg home for 21 years, joining the company in 2001 as station manager for Bloomberg Radio. He was eventually promoted to GM of Bloomberg Radio, overseeing the station’s programming, syndication and business ops. Michael Bloomberg named him chief of Bloomberg’s global TV division in 2015.
Included in Mayers’ responsibilities as global head of TV and radio was overseeing Bloomberg’s TV news and radio news content.
“During Covid, it often seemed as if Al was single handedly keeping us on the air,” Havens and Micklethwait write. “We are forever grateful for what he’s done for the company and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.”
David Merritt becomes the new head of Bloomberg Media Editorial, a new position at the company. Merritt, the force behind Bloomberg UK, will now oversee the editorial side of all of Bloomberg Media platforms—the website, audio and video (including BTV, radio, Quicktake and podcasts, events and magazines. He will move to New York and report to Micklethwait.
Bloomberg Americas news director Julie Alnwick McHale will run Bloomberg TV globally.
Bloomberg senior executive editor, Americas, Jackie Simmons will return to London to take over as Bloomberg editorial chief for EMEA. Bloomberg senior executive editor for finance and legal Caroline Gage will succeed Simmons in the Americas.
Here’s the full memo, obtained by TVNewser:
To all in Editorial & Research and Bloomberg Media,
As Al Mayers has just explained, he is retiring. Al has been a tireless leader at Bloomberg for over two decades, first in radio and now in his wider broadcast role. During Covid, it often seemed as if Al was single-handedly keeping us on the air. We are forever grateful for what he’s done for this company—and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.
As Al did indeed point out one last time, his most persistent theme has been “One Bloomberg.” His retirement is a prompt for us to redesign the editorial side of Bloomberg Media—both in line with that philosophy and the broader changes in journalism and the media world. The lines between audio, video, print and live events have become ever harder to distinguish, especially as our audience decides when they want to watch, read or listen to our content. We need a unified approach not just to fit this world, but also to reflect the fact that Bloomberg Media is now an integrated global business, which surged almost 50% last year (and which on top of that unprecedented growth, has just realized another 24% increase in the first six months of 2022 compared with the first half of 2021). The drivers of this phenomenal growth include our audio and video offerings, live experiences, and of course our consumer subscriptions. Increasingly, when we are pitching Bloomberg Media to our customers, whether we are talking to a consumer or a marketing chief, we are discussing more than one of those offerings.
So after Al leaves this month, David Merritt, who masterminded the cross-platform launch of Bloomberg UK, will become the Head of Bloomberg Media Editorial, a new position. Dave, who has already run our newsrooms in Europe and Asia, will oversee the editorial side of all of our media platforms—the website, all our audio and video (including BTV, radio, Quicktake and podcasts), events and our magazines. Dave will move to New York and continue to report to John.
To work alongside Dave, we’re promoting Roman Mackiewicz to a similar cross-platform role: He is now the Chief Information Officer for Bloomberg Media and responsible for technology and operations. Roman will join Scott’s leadership team.
We have asked Dave and Roman (obviously working closely with Julia Beizer, our Chief Digital Officer, and Stephen Colvin, our Chief Commercial Officer, as well as all our editorial managers and engineering) to look at the best way to expand and improve our content and experiences across all media platforms—and around the globe. They will draw on the work already done by Mindy Massucci on media integration.
This is a big undertaking and we look forward to Dave and Roman’s decisions about what will be precisely the best structure. You will hear a lot more from them (and from us) over the coming months. But we do need to take some steps now.
Julie Alnwick McHale, currently News Director for the Americas, will move back to broadcast to run BTV globally. Katie Boyce will oversee our website, our newsletters, social media, and for now, podcasts. Julie and Katie alongside Anthony Mancini (Bloomberg Radio), Joel Weber (Bloomberg Businessweek), Kyle Kramer (Quicktake), Mark Miller (Bloomberg Live) and our soon to be appointed head of podcasts will report into Dave. Meghan Chu will continue to oversee our broadcast operations and now report to Roman, while the regional news gathering chiefs, Nick Killham, Rachel Wehrspann and Yoko Shimizu, as well as Luke Morano’s assignment desk, will report to Julie. Marty Schenker will continue to provide editorial advice to broadcast.
Jed Sandberg, who has played such an enormous role over the past decade in building Bloomberg.com, our podcasts, Quicktake and many other things, will become Chief Innovation Editor, reporting to Heather Harris, focusing on content, platforms, and strategies across the newsroom. At the moment we produce a lot of great stories but we don’t always package and promote them correctly. We also need to come up with clever ways to deliver news to our readers on and off the Terminal. One of Jed’s first jobs will be to shepherd through one of his own innovations, Wes Kosova’s Big Take Podcast.
On the subject of unity, a big focus over the next year will be graphics and data. We want to improve our use of graphics and data visualization across all our platforms—including the Terminal. And we especially want to expand our data journalism team—and put it at the center of our newsroom. We’ve asked Otis Bilodeau to lead that effort in addition to overseeing Investigations. Martin Keohan and the data-viz team will now report to him. Again, we see this as the start of a process to make better use of visual data and imagery. Otis is handing over the direction of our daily Big Take to Silvia Killingsworth.
Last—but certainly not least—Dave’s move leaves a vacancy in the newsroom in Europe. Jackie Simmons, who has done such a great job running the Americas for more than three years, will return to London to take over as our editorial chief for EMEA. Caroline Gage will succeed Jackie in the Americas, and Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam will move to New York and succeed Caroline as the Senior Executive Editor for Finance and Legal. We will announce a successor to Sree on the European editing hub and Julie on the US news desk soon.
These are big changes, which, as you can see, affect many parts of the newsroom all the round the globe. And as we have said, there will be refinements in the coming months. It is worth returning to the bright future of Bloomberg Media—and the enormous opportunities that lie in front of us. We believe we’ve just gotten started.
Thanks to the hard work of many people, not least Al Mayers, we have one of the fastest growing large media businesses in the world with a portfolio of global platforms that nobody else in business journalism can match. Our influence is on the rise and our journalism wins prizes around the world. Bloomberg Media starts with enormous strengths. Now we must build on them—and we think this is the best structure editorially to do so.
John and Scott