© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Reuters Global News Editor Galloni attends meeting with Russian President Putin in St. Petersburg
(Reuters) -Reuters News named one of its top editors, Alessandra Galloni, as its next editor-in-chief, the first woman to lead a global news outlet in 170 history. its year.
A native of Rome, 47-year-old Galloni, will replace Stephen J. Adler, who will retire this month after leading the newsroom for a decade. Under his leadership, Reuters has received hundreds of press awards, including seven Pulitzer prizes, the industry’s highest honor.
A four-language speaker and experienced in business and political news at Reuters and before the Wall Street Journal, Galloni took on the leadership position as the news agency faced a series of challenges. Some of these are common to all news media. Others characterize the complexity of the organization: With a team of 2,450 journalists worldwide, Reuters serves a wide range of clients and is also a major player in the large information services business. much more.
Since 2008, Reuters has been a part of Thomson Reuters (NYSE 🙂 Corp, a conglomerate whose segments are more lucrative and faster growing news. Its CEO, Steve Hasker, who joined Thomson Reuters last year, has been strongly focused on expanding the group’s three largest businesses: providing information, software and services to the company. attorneys, corporations, and the tax and accounting industry. Hasker’s strategy helped Thomson Reuters shares rise to an all-time high.
Reuters News accounts for about 10% of Thomson Reuters’ total $ 5.9 billion in revenue. Unlike many news organizations, Reuters was profitable. It’s also a drag on parent company’s revenue and profit growth, analysts say, and news business chief executive Michael Friedenberg is driving the increase. sales and profit promotion. Regarding the future, the chief financial officer of Thomson Reuters last month forecast that sales at its “Big Three” businesses are expected to increase 6% to 7% by 2023, while the division Its journalism and printing business “is expected to reduce order revenue growth by 1 to 2%.”
Gary Bisbee, an analyst at Bank of America (NYSE :), said he hopes Reuters News “will continue to be a drag on the company’s growth,” but added that as other divisions of The faster Thomson Reuters grows, that drag will gradually decrease. overtime.
Thomson Reuters is hoping for a change in the Reuters Events business, which it acquired in October 2019. Almost all live conferences last year were canceled or postponed because of the pandemic. COVID-19. However, the business has shifted to a hybrid event planning strategy for 2021 with both live and virtual conferences, and hopes its revenue will improve.
While some industry insiders speculated that Thomson Reuters might want to sell the news division, three analysts said they were not expecting a sale. Douglas McCabe, a communications analyst for Enders Analysis in London, said Reuters was “an extremely powerful part of” the Thomson Reuters brand and that “the Reuters newsroom is strong behind you and all business assets. Truly specialized business is a great combination ”.
In a statement, Hasker CEO said: “Thomson Reuters is committed to the future of Reuters News. It is an important part of the company and is appreciated on the basis of our customers. The past year has proven the value of independent, global, unbiased journalism ”.
This year saw the end of an agreement in which Thomson Reuters’ previous Finance and Risk business – now known as Refinitiv – was sold to London Stock Exchange Group (LON 🙂 Get involved in a deal worth $ 27 billion of all stocks. Under the terms, Reuters News is guaranteed an annual payment of at least $ 336 million to feed Refinitiv news and editorial content until 2048. That stream of revenue is envied by many in the media industry. .
Galloni told colleagues that one of her key duties is to maintain a good relationship with Refinitiv, as it is Reuters’ largest client, accounting for more than half of all $ 628 million in revenue. news agency last year.
Senior editors say the key relationship has been a source of some tension. As part of its contract with Refinitiv, Reuters was required to meet stringent performance targets for the reporting received by Refinitiv customers, which Reuters exceeded by far. Thomson Reuters, for its part, noted in its latest annual report that the monopoly deal, while lucrative, limits Reuters’s ability to sell to other customers in the financial services industry. develope. A Refinitiv spokesman declined to comment.
Gordon Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal publisher, said the new editor will however have to find a new source of income. “Reuters is in an unusual position because of the commitment from Refinitiv to help Reuters News be more active in creating new news products to serve new markets,” he said. “I think there is still a lot of profit for Reuters because of the strength of the brand and the size of the staff.”
Reuters’ main competitors include Bloomberg News, Associated Press, French news agency AFP and visual content provider Getty Images. In addition to the event business, Reuters has been looking for other growth opportunities. Prominent among these is the upcoming launch of a revamped website, which is expected to target professionals and eventually start charging for content.
“It’s a challenge to get consumers to pay for content,” McCabe said, because “Reuters is a brand that a lot of people recognize but don’t look for intuitively.” But he is more optimistic that targeting experts could be successful for Reuters. “All the evidence shows me that these are the registry models that really work,” he said.
The Hasker CEO told colleagues he wanted to make Reuters an integral part of the company’s other divisions. To that end, the newsroom recently added its legal reporting staff.
Adler has led a number of moves to modernize Reuters, which was famous in its early days by using carrier pigeons to forward scoops. Over the past decade, the newsroom has created groups of investigative, data and graphic reporters and is using artificial intelligence to speed up the delivery of certain hot financial news.
Hasker said he wants to continue to modernize the newsroom by making the newsroom more robust with new technologies. According to people familiar with the matter, he and Friedenberg considered many of the journalists who would succeed Adler, both inside and outside the news agency.
Among them were two leading Reuters editors, Gina Chua and Simon Robinson. Outside candidates include David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail of Canada, and Kevin Delaney, former co-chief executive and editor-in-chief of Quartz Media Inc.
Galloni, based in London, is known internally as an engaging presence with a keen interest in business news. She told colleagues that her priorities would include promoting digital businesses and Reuters events.
She took the helm after taking on her role as Reuters global management editor, overseeing journalists in 200 locations around the world. At the beginning of her career, she worked at the Italian news service Reuters. She received degrees from Harvard University and London School of Economics. She returned to Reuters in 2013 after about 13 years at The Wall Street Journal, where she specialized in economics and business as a reporter and editor in London, Paris and Rome.
Reuters’ hunt for a new editor comes as other major media are tackling newsroom succession. Both the Washington Post, where the executive editor Marty Baron retired in February and the Los Angeles Times, where Norman Pearlstine resigned as executive editor in December, are now looking to replace them.