UPDATE 4-Bloomberg News names Economist editor to replace Winkler

Tue Dec 9, 2014 4:54pm EST
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(Adds link to Breakingviews commentary)

By Jennifer Saba and Paul Sandle

NEW YORK/LONDON Dec 9 (Reuters) - Billionaire news and information mogul Michael Bloomberg replaced the founding editor at his eponymous news service with Economist Editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, moving aggressively to broaden the one-time financial newswire beyond its core Wall Street audience.

Matthew Winkler, 59, the entrepreneurial and at times volatile leader of Bloomberg's newsroom for 25 years, is stepping aside to become editor-in-chief emeritus. The announcement on Tuesday marks the latest shakeup since Michael Bloomberg, who served as New York's mayor for three terms, said he would return to the helm of his company next year.

"I have always believed that organizations benefit from internal change," Michael Bloomberg said in a memo to employees that was reviewed by Reuters. Micklethwait's arrival "will give us the chance to unify the editorial side of our company," from real-time news to its magazines and digital properties, Bloomberg said.

Micklethwait, 52, will take over from Winkler in early 2015, Bloomberg LP said. Micklethwait has been with The Economist, which is half owned by Pearson's Financial Times media group, since 1987.

While editor in chief, he has successfully steered the magazine through a tough period for print media as more content moves to the web and mobile phones, analysts said. Under his tenure, The Economist not only grew its print circulation globally, to around 1.5 million worldwide, but also built up 100,000 digital subscribers as well.

"The Economist has come out with its reputation enhanced as a business that has understood how to manage that transition," said Douglas McCabe, a media analyst at Enders Analysis.

Before launching Bloomberg News in 1990, Winkler was a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. He made such an impression on Michael Bloomberg while interviewing him for a story about the then-fledgling information service that Bloomberg recruited him to build the newsroom from scratch.   Continued...