Bloomberg Begins Layoffs Of Roughly 80 Journalists

Though still making billions, the media company is restructuring around core areas.

NEW YORK – Bloomberg began layoffs Tuesday morning, with the media company expected to cut around 80 newsroom jobs, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The staff cuts have been looming as the company restructures under top editor John Micklethwait, who was hired in late 2014 by founder (and once again CEO) Mike Bloomberg.

Though Bloomberg still makes billions of dollars annually through its financial data-focused terminal business, Micklethwait has spoken publicly about the company needing to move forward by concentrating on six core subject areas: business, finance, markets, technology, economics and power (government and politics).

There will be about a dozen positions cut in the Washington bureau, as first reported Monday night by The Washington Post. That's fewer job losses than originally expected in the bureau, which has been plagued in recent months by low morale and concerns the D.C. operation was being marginalized as New York-based executives poured resources into more consumer-focused web initiatives.

Dawn Kopecki, a senior energy writer who wrote a June memo to Bloomberg executives describing a "culture of fear" in Washington and suggested the bureau staff could be reduced by 20 percent, is among those laid off, according to a source. Kopecki did not respond with comment.

Several prominent Washington journalists have been let go, with the national security desk especially hits hard.

John Walcott, team leader for national security and foreign affairs, was laid off, according to sources. Walcott previously led McClatchy's Washington bureau when the news organization -- then Knight-Ridder -- aggressively challenged the Bush administration's faulty case for war in Iraq. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Terry Atlas, a senior writer on foreign policy and national security, confirmed that he was laid off. National security reporter David Lerman was also among those cut, according to the New York Post, which noted several departures in the coverage of economics and financial regulation.

Bloomberg is expected to cut about 20 positions in New York, and the rest of the staff reduction will take place throughout the global news operation of around 2,400 journalists. But the company is still hiring, and plans to add 30 reporters to a new operation providing fast commentary on breaking news.

A Bloomberg spokesman declined to comment.

This post was updated with the names of several journalists laid off.

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