Bloomberg To Fire the Entire BusinessWeek Staff?

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This news seems impossible to believe, but I'll pass it along anyway, because it's getting traction on WWD and Gawker.

Bloomberg LP remains the front-runner [to buy BusinessWeek], although the company is expected to only take on the BusinessWeek name and Web site, and none of its staff or bureaus.

What?! Bloomberg is going to fire everybody?


Hamilton Nolan, block that crazy talk! Tell me what to believe.

another informed source we spoke to called WWD's version "nuts" ... the winning bidder would have a commitment to keeping BW in operation as a print magazine (and a decent one), our source said--otherwise, why bid on the company at all?

Now that's making sense. Changing owners often means layoffs for a magazine, and changing owners at a magazine losing about $40 million a year certainly means layoffs. But why in the world would McGraw Hill sell BW to Bloomberg for the domain name alone? And how could it possibly staff a weekly magazine with employees who are presumably already busy at Bloomberg?

Nolan's take wins on pure reason: Some BW staffers are let go with severance, some find another job, some jump over to Bloomberg (and some Bloomberg jump over to BW) and some stay. A wholesale firing seems absurd, unless Bloomberg's pitch to turn BusinessWeek.com into a ghost town-aggregator is the only offer McGraw got.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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