Justin Smith has taken the first major steps in his revamp of Bloomberg Media with the hiring of former AOL Live president Nathan Richardson and Inside.com chief content officer Gabriel Snyder.
Richardson and Snyder will oversee the creation and launch of new digital efforts that were touted recently by a strategy plan that Smith penned following his first 100 days as CEO of Bloomberg Media.
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Snyder and Richardson will be tasked with figuring out how to take the work of more than 2,400 journalists in more than 150 bureaus on innovative platforms for new readers.
“Our strategy calls for building out a portfolio of new digital assets that better align our content offerings to global business audience segments,” Smith wrote. “This realignment will help us go bolder and deeper, signaling to consumers outside of finance that Bloomberg has the media products for them, while providing advertisers with a more targeted way to reach their most important audiences.”
He said Bloomberg was well-positioned to take advantage of growing demand for business news from emerging markets by creating new platforms for its existing content and data tools.
“I think that just the growth numbers in terms of digital, in terms of the numbers of people coming in online globally, not just domestically… are astounding,” Richardson told Mashable.
“Those people may historically know Bloomberg as an investing tool for people in the investment community. In reality, the digital assets that Bloomberg has are really powerful for a business decision maker.”
Snyder leaves Inside.com after less than three months as the company’s chief content officer; he oversaw the launch of its news aggregation app.
Snyder, who previously served as editor of Gawker as well as Atlantic Media’s The Wire, echoed Richardson’s sentiments.
“The opportunity for growth is looking for those new content types and story forms that are specifically tailored for this new emerging era of a digital first, mobile-dominant news environment,” Snyder said.
The hirings are two of the most high-profile moves since Smith took the helm of Bloomberg Media in July after moving from The Atlantic, where he transformed the once-analog media property into a popular digital destination.
Richardson and Snyder both said their work would be keen to take risks on new ideas that might stir some initial doubt, but relished the opportunity to stir things up at a company that has not taken many risks since purchasing Businessweek in 2009.
“I think that anytime you’re doing something that’s new, there’s a certain amount of uncertainty,” Richardson said. “The fear of the unknown is probably one of the challenges we have to manage against and not letting that stand in our way because the appetite at Bloomberg to make this a great differentiated product and service is immense.”
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