Friday, October 09, 2009

Bloomberg + BusinessWeek = Layoffs?

Amy Wicks of Women’s Wear Daily has a glum prediction today: the expected takeover of BusinessWeek by Bloomberg L.P. could mean the layoff, she says, of the entire staff.

Wicks says that "the company is expected to only take on the BusinessWeek name and Web site, and none of its staff or bureaus." She says that if "Bloomberg does take over BusinessWeek, the company is expected to use the staff from Bloomberg Markets magazine to provide editorial for the acquired title."

In other words, by this account, the sale of BW would be really nothing more than a disguised way of shutting the magazine--a p.r. stunt as much as anything. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

I can understand why a new owner would jettison the top management of the magazine, who were responsible for a redesign that was an editorial flop and a commercial disaster. In fact, not doing so would be a bit strange. But certainly a major media organization like Bloomberg could make use of a talented staff.

UPDATE: The exodus begins. I'm sure the only thing keeping many staffers at their posts is a lack of job opportunities.

You know, I know this isn't pleasant for the people involved, but it's sure a lot better than the fate of staffers at Portfolio, who found out one Monday morning that the magazine was closed--effective immediately. The Portfolio offices were empty a week later.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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