The former Mayor of New York has taken a more hands on approach to running his companies since leaving office. Topolsky, reportedly, enjoys bucking authority and was not happy with Bloomberg’s having put him on a tighter leash. Bloomberg, in turn, had no patience for Topolsky’s sarcastic wit.
The two men specifically disagreed as to the style for the new Bloomberg Business site which launched in January.
Topolsky released a statement on his website in which he listed all of the achievements which he made in his year with Bloomberg. But it also read, in part, “the last few months have been difficult for me. I started to feel a desire to go even further, beyond the shores of business-focused coverage (this is Bloomberg after all), into the broader, weirder, and nerdier side of my interests — something I knew might not be a perfect fit for that audience.”
“The reality in media right now is that there is an enormous amount of noise. There are countless outlets (both old and new) vying for your attention, desperate not just to capture some audience, but all the audience. And in doing that, it feels like there’s a tremendous watering down of the quality and uniqueness of what is being made. Everything looks the same, reads the same, and seems to be competing for the same eyeballs. In both execution and content, I find myself increasingly frustrated with the rat race for maximum audience at any expense. It’s cynical and it’s cyclical — which makes for an exhausting and frankly boring experience.”
Many observers, however, are saying that Topolsky’s dismissal is more about growing tensions between Bloomberg’s Internet operation and its traditional news services. Old media and new media never get along. Once thinks that it is better because it is new and the other thinks that it is better because it is more experienced.
But if anyone had any doubt as to whether Topolsky actually did cross the line when it came to poking fun at his employer, just check out this Tweet he sent a few days ago. It mocks Bloomberg’s systems during the technical glitch that shut down the Dow, while referencing the Mathew Broderick movie “War Games.”
Just keeping updated on the NYSE suspension on my Bloomberg Terminal pic.twitter.com/TzQvIQlyYo
— Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) July 8, 2015