Two of the media’s most prominent figures, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, and New York Times media writer Ben Smith, are joining forces to create a new international media company.
Both announced their resignations Tuesday.
Justin Smith, who joined Bloomberg in 2013 and before that headed The Atlantic, said on Twitter he had “decided to pursue 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.”
In an email to The Wall Street Journal, Justin Smith said: “The news industry is facing a crisis in consumer trust and confidence, due to the distorting influence of social media and rising levels of polarization and parochialism. My plan is to launch a premium news business that serves unbiased journalism to a global audience and provides a high-quality platform for the best journalists in the world.”
Ben Smith told TheNew York Times he and Justin Smith plan to create a global media business that will break news and develop new content formats. “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,” Smith said. “That’s who we see as our audience.”
“I’m so excited about this,” Ben Smith, the former editor in chief of BuzzFeed, added on Twitter. He’s been at the Times since March 2020.
Neither man elaborated on who might join the venture or how it will be funded. The WSJ said Scott Havens, Bloomberg Media’s Chief Growth Officer and global head of strategic partnerships, will succeed Justin Smith as Bloomberg Media’s CEO.
Ben Smith, who worked at Politico before BuzzFeed, has published a variety of high-profile stories during his time at the Times, including reporting on the collapse of the startup Ozy Media and harassment allegations against the top editor of the German newspaper Bild. At BuzzFeed, he was the first editor to publish the controversial Steele dossier.
Justin Smith is credited with a major turnaround of TheAtlantic business and launching the business website Quartz.