BGOV leader departs for Weather Channel

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Chris Walters, who led the founding of Bloomberg Government, a news and information service launched at the beginning of 2011 by Bloomberg LP, is leaving to become chief operating officer of The Weather Channel.

Jeff Roberts of PaidContent.org writes, “Bloomberg launched the product to tap a perceived ‘gold rush’ in helping business decipher the ways of Washington. At $5,700 a year, its ‘BGOV’ is the top-priced product in a field that includes competitors like Politico Pro.

“Bloomberg portrays BGOV as a data-driven view of the political process that provides information like regulatory updates and the flow of grant money. A Bloomberg spokesperson said the unit has 300 journalists and analysts who also draw on the reports filed by their colleagues in Bloomberg News.

“From a strategic perspective, the launch of BGOV was a bold move for a company that is famous for sticking to its knitting. Since 1981, Bloomberg has been known for selling financial data but that sector was hurt by the 2009 economic crisis that swept away numerous financial companies.

“Walters’ departure from BGOV leaves his protege, Don Baptiste, as the effective head of the unit. According to Politico’s detailed account of BGOV, Walters hired Baptiste when he worked at McKinsey.”

Read more here. Talking Biz News was told by a Bloomberg employee in the fall that BGOV had less than 2,000 subscribers.