Bloomberg Hires Veteran Federal Reporter

Move shores up contracting reporting, at the heart of the financial-news giant’s Washington operations

By: Shane Harris

Bloomberg Government is adding to its already substantial Washington newsroom, hiring Anne Laurent, a former executive editor at Government Executive, to join BGov’s team covering government contracts and the companies that do business with federal agencies. Laurent is currently director of the Initiative for Collaborative Government at CGI, an international technology company, where she works in the federal and defense business unit. Her credentials give BGov a journalist who has covered government contracting as well as worked in the contracting system. She’ll start next month.

BGov wants to establish itself among Beltway readers as the go-to source for journalism about the intersection of business and government, and the company has apparently set its sites on the byzantine, multibillion-dollar market of federal contracts as a prime coverage area. BGov has already created a large database of contract spending, which is available to subscribers and used by reporters to craft their stories.

“Anne is a longtime power player in the world of federal contracting,” says BGov’s managing editor, Mike Riley, “and she brings to BGov a sophisticated understanding of the business impact of government actions, including the flow of federal money to companies nationwide.”

Laurent has written about federal agencies and management for more than 20 years. At Government Executive, she oversaw coverage of contracting, information technology, and other aspects of the bureaucracy. (She was also my boss.) Before that, she worked for ten years at the newspaper Federal Times as a reporter and later senior editor.

“This is a fulfillment of a dream I’ve had for years,” Laurent says. “This is an opportunity for BGov to become an honest broker between people selling to the government and buyers in the government, to help them understand each other so that the business of government can be done more effectively. This is an area that’s been woefully undercovered.”

BGov has been on a hiring spree the past several months, bringing on well over 100 reporters, editors, and analysts. BGov’s news staff is broken into teams based on beats. Laurent says she expects the contracting team to augment coverage across BGov’s operations.

BGov’s parent company, the financial-news giant Bloomberg, has reportedly committed to spending $100 million to hire staff, acquire resources, and mount a national sales strategy. With BGov, Bloomberg is betting that the mechanics of Washington, and particularly the business of government, are important enough that people will pay handsomely for specialized news and analysis. A subscription to BGov sells for $5,700 a year.

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