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Bloomberg sees biz mag helping brand

Bloomberg and Businesweek logos

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: It can take years of marketing and millions of dollars to build a prestigious brand. But sometimes it's just easier and cheaper to buy some cachet. That seems to be what Bloomberg has in mind with its decision to buy BusinessWeek magazine. The price tag? An estimated -- and paltry -- $5 million. Bloomberg is famous in the world of hardcore financial news and data, but it's not so well known outside of that world. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Bloomberg earns most of its money from leasing computer terminals. They provide financial data and news to traders and bankers. But with so many layoffs on Wall Street, Bloomberg has lost thousands of subscribers.

Porter Bibb runs Media Tech Capital Partners. He says with BusinessWeek, Bloomberg will be able to reach a whole new audience in the executive suite.

PORTER BIBB: To see if they can broaden the terminal offering, which is still gonna be the core of their business and the main profit spinner, beyond hardcore, sophisticated financial executives and get out into the corporate world.

Bloomberg also wants to expand its business beyond terminals. Lucia Moses is with Mediaweek. She says Bloomberg has more than 2,000 journalists, but until now they've had a specialized audience of market watchers.

LUCIA MOSES: And they feel like in order to get their name out there with major business leaders you know they need a big, well known, iconic consumer brand like Business Week behind them.

And they intend to make a profit. Robert Boynton teaches journalism at New York University.

ROBERT BOYNTON: The thing that people can't quite get their head around is they want to do something so incredibly unfashionable, such as invest in content and distribution and reporting and maybe create a magazine that people will not only want to read but might want to pay for.

He says Bloomberg can afford to invest in the magazine. The company has no debt and one billionaire owner: the mayor of New York.

I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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