When Mike Bloomberg announced his run for President, Bloomberg News said it would suspend its editorial board and stop running unsigned editorials. That’s because, as Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait told staffers in a November 24, 2019, memo, Bloomberg Opinion was the “place where Mike has had the most contact with Editorial.”
Bloomberg Opinion senior executive editor David Shipley and executive editor Tim O’Brien took leaves of absence to join their billionaire boss’s campaign, Micklethwait told staffers in that memo, as would “some members of the Board responsible for those editorials.” In the time since, the Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani has reported that Opinion editors Zara Kessler, Mark Whitehouse, and Jessica Karl had moved over to the campaign.
Washingtonian has been able to confirm some more names of people who’ve taken leave of Bloomberg Opinion to join the campaign. Most work from New York, including Bloomberg Opinion editors Mary Duenwald, Alexis Leondis, and Nisid Hajari, Opinion writer Timothy Lavin, and Opinion project manager Atika Valbrun. Two work out of DC: Opinion columnist Clive Crook and Opinion editor (and Washingtonian contributing editor) Romesh Ratnesar.
The personnel shifts have reportedly contributed to unease among some of the approximately 2,700 journalists who remain, as has the policy Micklethwait laid out that Bloomberg News would not investigate Mike Bloomberg or the other Democrats seeking their party’s nomination. Executives later clarified that that stricture would apply only to the organization’s Projects and Investigations team. Micklethwait has said he has no contact with Mike Bloomberg since his run began, and the news organization has committed to a public audit of its campaign stories. In a recent update, dated February 14, items about Mike Bloomberg represented 9 percent of Bloomberg News articles about the race, while front-runner Bernie Sanders accounts for 15 percent of the news organization’s campaign coverage.
Correction: This post originally contained two misspelled instances of Micklethwait’s last name.