Exclusive: Bloomberg Eyes Dow Jones, WSJ’s Parent, WaPo

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Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman and media mogul, is interested in acquiring the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, the Dow Jones or the Washington Post, a source familiar with his thinking told Axios.

why does it matterBloomberg wants to expand his media empire and sees Dow Jones as an ideal fit for him, the source said, but would buy the Post if Jeff Bezos was interested in selling.

  • The merger of Bloomberg and Dow Jones would create an unparalleled giant of business news.

details: The source notes that Bloomberg would be interested in a potential acquisition of either property, but that Dow Jones — publisher of financial titles such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch — would be a stronger target.

  • Bloomberg is close to Rupert Murdoch, owner of Dow Jones parent company, and believes efforts to merge News Corp. and its sister company Fox Corporation will fail, leading to a potential opening.
  • At least one activist investor said they would prefer News Corp to spin off parts of its business — either its real estate platform or Dow Jones — to open up value to investors.
  • However, Bloomberg has not yet reached out to Murdoch about his interest, nor has it begun to engage any formal third parties, such as bankers, to assess the opportunity.
  • The source said Bloomberg is friends with Bezos but not close to him. He sees The Post paired with Bloomberg as a formidable potential competitor to The New York Times.

Dow Jones deal It will give Bloomberg access to a major business address that can be leveraged to sell more subscriptions to Bloomberg Terminal, a real-time data, news, and analytics platform for financial professionals.

  • Subscriptions to the station make up the vast majority of Bloomberg LP’s revenue, which topped $10 billion for the first time in 2018.
  • Bloomberg’s news offering, which is powered by Bloomberg Media — a separate division within Bloomberg LP — helped the terminal differentiate itself from other data and analytics platforms on Wall Street.
  • The source said that Bloomberg will plan to merge any title it acquires with Bloomberg Media, creating a massive business news empire.
  • News Corp declined to comment.

Between the lines: The Post, although less convenient, can help amplify the federal government’s coverage of Bloomberg, which includes Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Government.

  • The newspaper is on track to lose money this year and has lost digital subscribers in the wake of a surge in subscriptions under Trump.
  • The company, which was bought by Jeff Bezos in 2013 for $250 million, said last week that layoffs were coming in the first quarter of 2023. Two big bets on Boost software have been sidelined under Bezos and may be sold, leading some to wonder about the future. How to invest. Bezos is still on the property.
  • “The Post is not for sale,” a Post spokesperson told Axios.

The Big PictureBloomberg has a history of acquiring professional news companies and integrating them into its media strategy.

  • Bloomberg LP bought what was then a professional services news and research group called the Bureau of National Affairs, or BNA, for about $990 million in 2021. Bloomberg BNA is now called the “Bloomberg Industry Group” and includes subdivisions focused on topics such as legal reporting.
  • The company acquired a portfolio of benchmark and strategic indexes businesses from Barclays in 2016, eventually rebranding it as “Bloomberg Indexes” after its five-year co-branding agreement with Barclays expired.

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