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The vast majority of Bloomberg’s $7.6 billion in 2012 revenue — 82 percent, as of 2012 — are tied to its $20,000-per-year financial data terminals used by 315,000 subscribers as of 2013, but the company’s news division also has 2,400 editorial employees, more than The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. The company laid off just under 40 employees, especially in its culture and sports departments, in late 2013.
After complaints by clients, Bloomberg News acknowledged in 2013 its journalists had long used its terminals to gather information on its users for reporting. The terminal use was part of a company-wide focus on data-gathering and internal “transparency” along with external secrecy.
Bloomberg’s social media guidelines, leaked in April 2011, encourage journalists to use Twitter but restrict the ways in which they can do so.
In 2013, Bloomberg Media Group hired as its CEO Justin B. Smith, who had engineered The Atlantic’s digital resurgence. The next year, Smith hired high-profile political journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin to head up a new politically focused site called Bloomberg Politics.
In January 2011, Bloomberg launched Bloomberg Government, or BGov, a website that covers business and politics for subscription fees of thousands of dollars a year. Four months later, it launched an online opinion section called Bloomberg View. In 2012, View had a staff of about 20 and 1.6 million monthly unique visitors. Bloomberg also re-launched its free politics page in 2012.
Bloomberg launched a venture capital fund called Bloomberg Beta in 2013 to invest in startups, including some that Bloomberg News covers.
The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan, non-profit institution that seeks to achieve its mission of increased government transparency by funding and building web-based technologies. It was cofounded in 2006 by Ellen S. Miller, a longtime government employee and “advocate for disclosure of campaign finances,” and Michael Klein, a former securities lawyer who donated $3.5 million…