Bloomberg Businessweek eyes push into UK market

Bloomberg Businessweek has signalled its intention to make greater inroads into the UK market and become a ‘real global brand’by increasing its circulation in Europe and Asia by 80,000 copies a week.

The US-based magazine giant was losing more than $60m a year three years ago and looked set to be another print giant killed off by digital competition and the economic downturn.

But in October 2009, financial newswires giant Bloomberg bought the title for $1 and after rebranding it Bloomberg Businessweek is showing signs of turning the business around. The number of staff journalists has dropped from as many as 400 before the takeover to around 50 today. But the title can now draw on the Bloomberg agency’s network of 2,300 editorial staff around the world.

Editor Josh Tyrangiel told Press Gazette that, when he was taken on two and a half years ago, he was given a simple brief: ‘To make a great magazine and a great website.”

He declined to be drawn on detailed web numbers and paid-for sales, but he said: ‘Our web numbers continue to grow, it’s not parabolic or hockey stick growth any more… On the subscription end we feel we are building steam.In 2008-2009 people were not renewing, and now renewal rates are way up.

‘We are aiming to become a real global magazine…business people are way out in front of journalists when it comes to understanding globilisation. If we are going to do our job, we have to be global.”

The additional distribution brings Bloomberg Businessweek’s total distribution (free and paid-for) to 980,000.

Tyrangiel said that the UK is a ‘crucial market’for the title and insisted: ‘There’s quite a lot of white space….There are people covering the City, but I don’t think they are covering it in the way we do it and understanding the businesses that exist outside the City.”

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