Bloomberg’s Winkler takes it easy

September 9, 2008

Matt Winkler is more than the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg’s news operation; he is its creator and keystone, and largely responsible for its hard-charging, hard-working work ethic that has been described by nearly everyone who writes about the business news wire as “take-no-prisoners.” Still, even top editors like to take a break every now and again.

Winkler, who started Bloomberg LP’s news operation nearly two decades ago, is going to step back from some of his day-to-day duties. This comes after Bloomberg earlier this month said it would create several new units as part of a reorganization that included a shuffling of top management. That featured Winkler losing control of the TV, Internet and radio operations at Bloomberg but retaining control of print.

The company last month also was expected to offer more flexible work hours to its employees, a sign that it was responding to concerns among some workers that the kitchen was often too hot to cook in.

Here’s what Winkler said in a phone interview with Reuters on Tuesday, following a video presentation to Bloomberg employees:

This will free me up to spend more time with reporters and more time with our customers — more time thinking about the kinds of things we want to do, but haven’t done yet. A good part of my day, every day, when I’m not on the road, has been in story meetings. There are at this point better ways for me to spend my time.

Winkler will keep his position and remain involved, he said:

I’m still available for everybody whenever they want. I still will be involved on a day-to-day basis on some stories. It’s just that the amount of time I’ve had to devote to the stories every day in a hands-on way is finally diminished.

In turn, a corps of executive editors will get more say in the process:

We now have the depth and experience among our executive editors that enables us, I hope, to have a more streamlined and efficient structure. The 10 people who are executive editors at Bloomberg News have the freedom to make for their areas pretty much all the important news judgment decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Expect this change to come as early as this week.

(Photo: Courtesy of Bloomberg LP)

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