News veterans Ben Smith, the media columnist for The New York Times, and Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg’s media division, are leaving their jobs to start a company together.
The two men, who are not related, are looking for a journalistic platform that reaches educated English-speaking readers around the world.
“There are 200 million people who have university education, who read in English, but who no one really treats like an audience,” Ben Smith tell The New York Times.
Investors continue to pour money into online media companies years after a venture capital-backed boom that caused start-ups like Vice and BuzzFeed, where Ben Smith previously served as editor-in-chief. Last year, the news site Axios raised fresh cash, which it valued at $ 430 million, while German publisher Axel Springer pay about $ 1 billion to buy Politico, the American political news website.
The amount of money the two men wanted to raise was not immediately clear. Justin Smith said it was 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”.
Bloomberg Media, the news division that sits within billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s financial data company, is one of the world’s largest employers of journalists with about 2,700 reporters and editors. As CEO, Justin Smith has pursued new revenue lines such as consumer subscriptions and opportunities. Prior to joining Bloomberg, he worked for The Economist and The Atlantic.
Ben Smith joined The New York Times in 2020, where he made his weekly column a must-read for people interested in the media business. A series of his reports revealed misleading practices at the beginning of the media Ozy Media, which leads to regulator inquiries to the company.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Justin Smith is leaving Bloomberg.