Chris Walters, who led Bloomberg LP’s recent move into government information, is leaving the company for the Weather Channel where he will be chief operating officer.
The move comes barely a year after Bloomberg Government opened shop as a subscription service targeting both business and political types.
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.
Bloomberg LP is a private company owned by Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City.
In a news release, the Weather Channel said “Walters will oversee TWCC’s technology, finance, legal and human resources teams, and will report to TWCC Chairman and CEO David Kenny.”