bloombergBloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler told me in November that his news organization aims to be the world's "most influential." The following day, Bloomberg executive Andrew Lack reiterated the company's desire "to be the world's most influential news organization."
More recently, Bloomberg Businessweek President Paul Bascobert said the company's relaunched publication would be "the most influential business magazine in the world."
So guess what the plan is for Washington? Mike Riley, managing editor of the new Bloomberg Government operation, told the New York Times this week that "our aspiration is to be the most influential news organization in the world."
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg founded the news organization in 1990 and it quickly became a must-read source of up-to-the-second information on world markets. (Hizzoner remains majority owner of the multibillion-dollar company but isn't involved in most decisions while serving as mayor.)
Bloomberg now plans to roll out a subscription-based service that will provide detailed tracking of legislation and members of Congress. And the company is beefing up staff to take on Washington-based outlets -- such as the National Journal and Congressional Quarterly -- that currently provide such information to lobbyists, government contractors and congressional staffs. It's a potentially lucrative market.
Bloomberg already boasts a Washington bureau of 175 journalists, more than three times the size of the New York Times bureau in the capital. And so far, Riley has hired 40 journalists and analysts specifically for Bloomberg Government, with plans to hire 60 more over the next couple of months.
The Times reports that Bloomberg Government could expand to 300 staffers by the end of 2011, thereby making "the company's Washington office the largest for a news organization not based in the capital." (Bloomberg currently employs more than 2,400 people worldwide.)
The Bloomberg Government service will not run on specific terminals that need to be leased from the corporation (such as those covering the financial world). Instead, the service will be available on personal computers for $5,700 a year.
If successful, Bloomberg hopes to bring the tracking service to the state level.
(Photo of Michael Bloomberg circa 1992: AP)