Bloomberg Restuctures Amindst Merrill Stake Sale Talks; Text Separates From Multimedia Division

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Bloomberg LP, in the midst of negotiations to buy back 20 percent stake that Merrill Lynch has held, has done a major restructuring of its operations and shuffled the top management, reports Reuters. The changes:

-- A new multimedia operation will include Bloomberg's Internet, television and radio news services, and will be separate from its text news service.
-- "As the news organization has grown and continues to grow along with our terminal businesses, we want to unlock the potential of our multimedia businesses," Bloomberg spokesperson told Reuters. Does that sound like a sale/complete spinoff i the future? Sounds like it....
-- A new subsidiary, Bloomberg Ventures, will be an ideas incubator for the larger business, and will be run by Bloomberg LP's one-time CEO and current head of sales, Lex Fenwick.
-- The company's top editor, Matt Winkler, will lose his control of multimedia operations, but will remain in charge of the text news business....Winkler had been the head of overall news operations for two decades.
-- No manager/leader has yet been chosen to head the multimedia division.
-- Layoffs will not be part of the reorganization.
-- TalkingBizNews: There was also a mention Wednesday of being open to acquisitions to expand.
-- Bloomberg is projected to hit $10 billion in sales by 2013. When its hit the $10 billion mark, employees will get a bonus equal to 70 percent of their pay (averaged for five years). If Bloomberg hits the mark sooner, the percentage will be higher.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg hired Norman Pearlstine, former editor at Time magazine and most recently senior advisor for telecom and media for The Carlyle Group, as its new Chief Content Officer. Not clear if his position will be affcted with this, or if he will land with any of the two specific groups.

These changes come as the economy worsens and Bloomberg's core customer base, Wall St. firms, are really suffering and have started eliminating Bloomberg terminal licenses. Also the company is facing a bigger competitor in the newly merged Thomson Reuters (NASDAQ: TRIN), with each holding a little more than 30 percent of the financial data market.

By Rafat Ali