Arts writers and readers are reeling today at the news that Bloomberg is scrapping Muse, the daily board of eight high-class arts stories and commentaries.
Its founder and editor, Manuela Hoelterhoff (pictured with Bloomberg editor in chief Matt Winkler), will stay on the network as chief cultural correspondent, and boy can she write. There will also be an arts blog on the Luxury channel. But Muse is dead. Another arts outlet bites the dust. And other media owners will take this as a signal to shrink their arts coverage still further.
UPDATE: Here’s the internal memo from Matt Winkler.
When we announced the management reorganization a little more than a month ago, we said we wanted to be ideally positioned for growth, foster deeper collaboration, and develop our news products. Since then, we evaluated everything we’re doing to determine what’s working and what isn’t, with the single aim to ensure all we do has maximum impact. One lesson we learned was that we must have the courage to say no to certain areas of coverage in order to have enough firepower in areas we want to own.
It’s against this backdrop that we had to make some difficult decisions today. We were able to reassign a number of people to new positions, and we are grateful for the contributions of those who no longer can be part of our organization. We are convinced that the changes will help us take Bloomberg News to another level of influence.
We decided to scale back arts coverage and no longer use the Muse brand, and we’ll align our leisure reporting with Pursuits and the luxury channel on the Web. Executive Editor Manuela Hoelterhoff, who initiated luxury coverage at Bloomberg, will now oversee new book projects while continuing the cultural coverage for which she received a Pulitzer Prize and Guggenheim fellowship. We will create an editing hub for the Projects team in Washington and no longer have editors dispersed around the world, to further empower the writers; we decided to focus our AV team on LIVE <GO>, which terminal customers depend on, and stop the parallel editing of video that the multimedia team already does. We also decided to concentrate our sports coverage on the nexus with business and no longer do match reports. In beat reporting, we identified some savings thanks to closer collaboration among the newly united teams.