Bloomberg News has quietly shed dozens of experienced reporters and editors this year — including some of its most senior staff — as its owner Michael Bloomberg considers selling its parent company ahead of a possible presidential run, The Post has learned.
At least 43 reporters and editors, most of them in New York, are known to have left the sprawling news operation this year, according to interviews and a list of recent departures obtained by The Post.
The departures, especially of old-guard editors, have current and former employees fretting that the financial news giant is in cost-cutting mode in preparation of a sale of its parent company, Bloomberg LP.
“Ppl v worried about that today,” one former Bloomberg reporter told The Post in a text message. “We didn’t think news could stand alone as a piece of a company to sell. But who could buy the whole firm?”
In the last week alone, at least four senior editors have been laid off, according to sources.
They include Bob Brennan, a markets editor first hired in 1993; John Lippert, a senior writer who covered the auto industry, first hired in 1995; Chuck Stevens, most recently an editor at Daybreak, a fast-news product, hired in 1996, and Faris Khan, a senior editor covering corporate finance who joined in 2010, the company confirmed.
Ty Trippet, a spokesman for Bloomberg, insisted that the headcount at Bloomberg has increased this year. He didn’t comment on recent departures.
But insiders said they fear that departures of better-compensated employees — and staffing up of younger, cheaper reporters — are part of the game plan as the company primps for a possible sale.
Older editors at the financial news operation can make upwards of $250,000 a year, while new hires can make about a quarter of that, former employees have told The Post.
As reported by The Post, 76-year-old Bloomberg has been discussing the possibility of selling his company among a small group of top executives, including Chairman Peter Grauer, since at least October.
The company has been looking to increase operational profits by about 3 percent ahead of any sale, which could take the form of either a buyout or an IPO, sources said.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg told an Iowa radio station he might sell his sprawling financial news and data empire, Bloomberg LP, if he runs for president in 2020.
“It would either go into a blind trust or I would sell it. But I think at my age, if selling it is possible, I would do that,” the former New York mayor told Radio Iowa.
Those named on the list of departures appeared to have left in a mix of layoffs and voluntary separations, including those who have gone on to CNBC, the New York Times and other outlets, according to interviews with those who left. The Post independently confirmed the names on the list.
Among the bigger names who have left are Miranda Purves, a BusinessWeek features editor, Hugh Son, a veteran Wall Street reporter who went to CNBC, and Laura J. Keller, an M&A reporter who went to Asset TV. They all declined to comment.
But some news staff who recently left — especially women — told The Post they felt squeezed out of their job or were shut out of promotions.
“Women really are feeling like they have to lobby so hard to change jobs internally and are so frustrated with the ability to move forward,” one former reporter told The Post.
Trippet said that most of the new hires Bloomberg made in the last year were women, and that men made up 60 percent of those who left. He added that women in leadership positions is “one of the top priorities of the newsroom.”
“Of course, a reporter who had substandard performance while working here is probably not objective,” Trippet said.
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