For me, I love to have people who are challenging me everyday. Who are you really thinking about all the things that Bloomberg readers, viewers, listeners, need to get—want to get everyday. Are you thinking about that? That’s my job. And to have someone like Norm who’s been there, done that in so many ways and is so knowledgeable, so networked, and skilled in understanding stories and understanding news judgment, this is a gift.

If he didn’t exist I’d want to invent him.

I see.

But, wait, I’m thinking: All those names and awards are fine, but what about the great issues of the day: executive compensation, tainted imports and regulatory laxity, predatory lending, middle-class income stagnation, shifts in the consumer credit industry— any one of a number of items? An argument can at least be made that The New York Times, with one-twentieth the staff, has contributed far more to the public’s understanding of any of those.

Me: “[The Times’s] impact on the public discussion is quite profound given the fact that it has 100 people.”

Well, wait a second. But you’re looking at The New York Times as a newspaper published in New York, whose circulation is mostly to the New York region, isn’t that right?

Me: “I suppose so.”

Whereas Bloomberg is all over the world. And so when you talk about weight, you know people in Indonesia are not reading The New York Times every day. That’s not the first read. A lot of people in Indonesia are reading Bloomberg their first read every day. A lot of people in New Zealand are reading Bloomberg as their first read everyday. In Australia. In Germany. In France. In Belgium. In Holland. In Italy, okay? In the UK. In Canada. In Brazil, where I was last night, Bloomberg is the first read. So when you talk about weight, let’s go global, and let’s starting comparing Bloomberg to all these other platforms in a global context. And they’re not even in the game.

The thing that you’re missing in your paradigm here is the audience. Our audience is global. It’s 24/7. It’s 365 days a year. We’re writing for the folks back home. We’re not writing for the guys in Congress and the ladies in Congress or the chattering class in New York or Washington, or Columbia University or at Berkeley…

Me: “Oh.”

We are writing for a global audience, and they know it. And the proof that they know it is that they’re spending $1,500 per terminal.

Me: “Right.”


Me: “You know even in the newspaper [not sure what my question is here]…

Just scroll down. These are the newspapers that get Bloomberg News, okay? These are the newspapers that get Bloomberg News, okay? This is the aggregate circulation, okay? Including the Times, I might add. Okay, and what you’re not including is how many times Bloomberg writes a story, and it is invented at Bloomberg…Like, I’ll give you an example that Blackrock is gonna buy the bad bank from UBS. Worldwide exclusive three o’clock, two weeks ago. On Bloomberg News …Okay, it was on the front page of the Financial Times a day later. Where did they get it? They got it on Bloomberg … Did they attribute it to Bloomberg? Absolutely not. Does that happen everyday? Absolutely. [An FT spokeswoman declined to comment.] Okay, there is a conceit in the newspaper world that because a real time news organization like Bloomberg breaks something, “Oh that must come from a wire service,” and somehow that can’t possibly be original because it came from a wire service. Well guess what? The lead story [nervous laugh from Czelusniak] the lead story in the Financial Times on Blackrock two week ago was a worldwide exclusive twenty-four hours earlier on the Bloomberg

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.