potential candidate Michael Bloomberg is embarrassed by the media that bear his name

Michael Bloomberg, Ankeny, Iowa, December 4, 2018.
Michael Bloomberg, Ankeny, Iowa, December 4, 2018. Charlie Neibergall / AP

We can already imagine the embarrassment of the 2020 presidential campaign during a possible press conference by candidate Michael Bloomberg:

"Mr. Bloomberg, good morning, John X, Bloomberg journalist, can you confirm that your Bloomberg company money, etc., etc."

Life will be impossible for the journalists of the agency founded by Michael Bloomberg if he begins the run for the White House under the democratic colors. The billionaire, who made a fortune by equipping all Wall Street dealers with electronic terminals from the 1980s, built a media empire that could become quite uncomfortable.

More political coverage

Mr. Bloomberg, whose fortune is valued at $ 45 billion for Forbes, simply think for his group of "They no longer cover politics" and leave this task to another digital media. Of course, even if Mr. Bloomberg did not explain it: close or give up the political service. Mr. Bloomberg launched this little bomb during a radio interview during a trip to Iowa – officially because it is a state-of-the-art environmental protection, a favorite theme of Mr. Bloomberg; in fact, because it is there that the first primary of the presidential campaign will take place in January 2020.

The other solution clarified by Mr Bloomberg is to specify, whenever his name is mentioned, that he is the owner of the affected media. It would be a pause. Unlike the New York Times, or world, which states that its shareholders are " as an individual », the Bloomberg agency does not deal with the life of the Bloomberg group or its owner. "It has always been our policy not to talk about ourselves, you can be independent and nobody will believe you are independent" Mr. Bloomberg said, before adding with laughter: "Honestly, I do not want all the journalists I pay to write bad stories about me."

Sale of the company

Bloomberg said he raised the subject with Bloomberg News editor John Micklethwait. "I'm not a candidate yet, so I have a lot of time to think about it, but I've thought about it a lot because printing is a very important part of our business." In reality, according to buzzfeed, the average division loses money, the losses absorbed by the group's financial assets ($ 10 billion sales). Already in 2016, when Bloomberg had considered the idea of ​​running as an independent candidate, this prospect had created a sensation, leading to the resignation of the head of the Washington office Kathy Kielly, worried that he would not be able to address the question. campaign with the necessary aggressiveness.

The complete sale of the business remains an option. Mr. Bloomberg, in Iowa, also announced that if he had started in the race or had been elected – the trigger is not clear – he would have run his company from a trust or would have sold it. "I think of my age [76 ans]if I can sell, that's what I'll do. At a certain point, you end up dying, so it's better to do it first. "

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Arnaud Leparmentier (New York, correspondent)

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