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Picture: 123RF/Ruggiero Scardigno
Picture: 123RF/Ruggiero Scardigno

Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith and New York Times media columnist Ben Smith are departing their respective news organisations to start a new media firm, the two confirmed on Tuesday.

Ben Smith will be the editor-in-chief of the as yet unnamed venture, which will build a newsroom and target “200-million people with college degrees, who nobody is really thinking of as an audience,” he said in an interview with Reuters.

“We think there’s an opportunity to address those folks in different ways and different places, with great reporting, big stories and innovative ways of delivering the news,” he said.

The two Smiths are not related.

Ben Smith — who was editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed and a reporter at Politico before joining the Times in 2020 — declined to provide details on funding for the new venture, or the size of the newsroom he and his partner plan to build.

The New York Times first reported the news of Ben Smith’s departure and plans earlier on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of Justin Smith’s departure and plans.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Justin Smith wrote: “After eight years at Bloomberg Media, and more than 25 years in quality journalism, I’ve decided to pursue a personal dream, and a market opportunity, to launch a new kind of global news media company that serves unbiased journalism to a truly global audience.”

In the wake of Justin Smith’s departure from Bloomberg Media, the CEO role will be taken on by Scott Havens, Bloomberg Media’s chief growth officer, the Journal reported, citing a statement from Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg.

Justin Smith, who moved to Bloomberg from Atlantic Media in 2013, will remain at Bloomberg as an adviser in the coming months to assist with the transition, the Journal added.

Justin Smith and Bloomberg Media did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bloomberg Media competes with Reuters, the news division of Thomson Reuters, in supplying news to media outlets.



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