Media Columnist Ben Smith Leaves the NYT to Start New Publication With Bloomberg CEO Justin Smith

David Gelles, reporting for The New York Times:

Ben Smith, the media columnist for The New York Times, is leaving the media outlet to start a new global news organization with Justin Smith, who is stepping down as chief executive of Bloomberg Media.

Ben Smith said in an interview that they planned to build a global newsroom that broke news and experimented with new formats of storytelling. He did not provide details on what beats or regions would be covered, how much money they planned to raise or when the new organization would start.

“There are 200 million people who are college educated, who read in English, but who no one is really treating like an audience, but who talk to each other and talk to us,” said Ben Smith, who is not related to Justin Smith. “That’s who we see as our audience.”

I’ve enjoyed Smith’s stint as the Times media columnist; it’s the first time that column has been good since David Carr died in 2015. Not sure what Smith is angling for with his idea that targeting college-educated readers is somehow novel, though. That’s exactly the demographic who reads the Times.

See also: Clare Malone’s brief interview with Ben Smith yesterday, for The New Yorker.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022