Could two news organisations "awash in subscriber revenue" finish up by taking over the New York Times and the Financial Times? That is the intriguing though put forward today by Adweek in an in-depth look at the growing good fortune of Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.
The two are are said to be "those truly rare things: news organisations that not only are healthy but also are on a hiring spree."
Bloomberg has about 2,400 journalists, up from 2,100 three years ago. Thomson Reuters has added 600 full-time journalists over the past four years for a total of 3,000.
"Each employs more newspeople than The New York Times and The Washington Post combined, " says Adweek.
Andy Lack oversees Bloomberg's multimedia operations. He says of Bloomberg LP, “We may be the last man standing,”
“Most of the other news organisations I’ve worked at are fighting the delusion factor,” says Lack former news executive for both CBS and NBC. “There’s enormous pressure of economics on journalism. It’s an expensive, tough game to be in.”
An executive at a competing media firm said of Bloomberg, “They’re spending like drunken sailors on all these top-flight journalists, It’s allowed them to corner the talent market.”
No-one in newspapers has what Bloomberg and Reuters have: subscription-only financial data and services that pull in billions of dollars.
Compare that to the "calamitous newspaper industry", says the magazine where about one-fourth—of newsroom jobs were lost between 2006 and 2010. Consumers remain steadfast in their refusal to pay for news online—, says the mag.
Meanwhile,at Bloomberg and Reuters, most of their journalism is paid for by non-advertising revenue. “This is the newsroom of the future, where television, print and digital are really connected,” Larry Kramer, founder of CBS MarketWatch told Adweek.
News remains central at at Bloomberg and Reuters, but says the magazine it is their subscription-based businesses and financial intelligence that contributes the bulk of their revenue—82 percent for Bloomberg, 90 percent for Reuters.
Subscribers pay $20,000 a year for access to a Bloomberg terminal. All news goes out through the terminal first (ahead of the free website), while fully half of all content it distributes is exclusive to subscribers.
At Reuters, the the subscriber is also king. Its news content feeds into its financial and other subscription products, which are sold to "traders, law firms and other professionals" for anywhere from $12,000 to $20,400 per year. Again, all editorial content goes to clients first.
Bloomberg bought and breathed new life into BusinessWeek from McGraw-Hill in late 2009 and moved into the world of opinion with Bloomberg View, "along the way hiring A-list journalists". There’s even been talk that Bloomberg wants to acquire the New York Times
Reuters, a household name in Britain where it started, is less known in the U.S. It doesn’t have a magazine or newspaper,but created a glossy magazine for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos,Switzerland."Execs haven’t ruled out expanding it," says Adweek .
With Bloomberg supposedly itching to get The New York Times, the rumour is, says Adweek, that Reuters has its eye on another blue-chip print property, The Financial Times.