Houston Chronicle drops Bloomberg News after coverage decision

More fallout from Michael Bloomberg's run for the Democratic presidential nomination

There is more fallout from Michael Bloomberg's run for the Democratic presidential nomination – and this one is hitting his eponymous media company.

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Shortly after the former New York City mayor announced his candidacy, editors at Bloomberg News told reporters to skip "in-depth investigations" of Bloomberg or any other Democratic candidate. The move was made as an attempt at fairness. But one news organization doesn't see it as fair at all.

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In an op-ed piece, the executive editor of the Houston Chronicle, Steve Riley, told readers the stories from Bloomberg News' wire service will no longer be used at the Texas daily.

Noting Bloomberg News "will not cover candidate Bloomberg with the same vigor with which it pursues revelations about President Trump. The same soft treatment awaits other Democrats in the race: No serious journalism to come from Bloomberg News," he wrote.

Soon after Bloomberg News executives made the decision, President Trump's campaign team opted to bar Bloomberg News journalists from attending its rallies and political events.

The privately held Hearst Corporation owns the Chronicle, which boasts 825,000 daily readers and 1.4 million readers. Hearst publishes 24 daily newspapers and websites, including the San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, New Haven Register and Albany Times Union. While the company stresses local editorial control, there exists the possibility that other Hearst publications could follow Houston's lead.

Bloomberg does not market the numbers of news organizations that subscribe to Bloomberg Media Distribution, but it does promise to deliver news in eight languages: Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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Vox recently reported the Bloomberg LP brought in $10 billion in revenue last year. While the company is private and does not release revenue for divisions such as Bloomberg News or media distribution, a significant portion of the revenue stems from the proprietary Bloomberg computer terminal, a system designed for the financial industry and has proven invaluable to several companies.

According to Vox, subscriptions for the terminals run between $20,000 and $24,000 annually and boasts some 325,000 subscribers.

Ken Doctor, a former executive with the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain and is now a news industry analyst and the author of "Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get," doesn't see other newspapers following the Chronicle's lead and lead to denting Bloomberg News' bottom line.

"There's no doubt that Bloomberg's Presidential run has greatly complicated Bloomberg News' coverage."

- Ken Doctor, creator of the news industry web site, newsonomics.com.

Ironically, while Bloomberg News was professing its goal of fairness in the presidential campaigns, the Financial Times revealed users of the Bloomberg terminals were being directed to Bloomberg the candidate's 2020 campaign website when a user inputted the work "MIKE."

Users were no longer sent to the campaign site after the story was published. A spokesperson for Bloomberg said that it had been an "honest mistake."

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