Bloomberg TV: A player?
Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman writes about what Bloomberg TV needs to do to make itself a player…
To reach the big time, Bloomberg Television now must change its basic philosophy by making its offerings more entertaining. The operation attracted attention when it hired former NBC News head Andy Lack last year to be its multimedia chief. Bloomberg TV has been, in a word, lackluster.
Bloomberg has a reputation for presenting a relentless stream of bland, factual information. (Full disclosure: I left Bloomberg in 1999 after six years there to join MarketWatch.)
The approach works well on the company’s flagship product, the Bloomberg Terminal, a lifeblood of Wall Streeters who like to get the information in a straightforward way. But on TV — a visual, freewheeling medium — the style seems hopelessly dull and behind the times.
How rigid is Bloomberg News? Under the direction of its founding editor, Matthew Winkler, it was known to forbid reporters from using in their stories such “banned” words as “upcoming” and “despite.” Traditionally, in the turgid Bloomberg-speak, readers saw that companies completed the pedantic sounding “transactions,” not the more colloquial “deals.”
But if Bloomberg intends to woo viewers from CNBC, it has to give the public a reason to tune in. It needs to recruit established stars or find some from within its ranks.
Bloomberg primarily must ratchet up the excitement quotient on the formulaic channel. Not only does this new style have the potential of adding viewers, it will also make Bloomberg TV seem like a more journalist-friendly operation and make it easier for the network to attract talent.