Between February 3 and 4 of 2009, more than 100 Bloomberg Radio and TV staffers were laid off at their world headquarters in New York.
It was an unprecedented move for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s financial news outlet, with no layoffs in the company’s previous 28 years of existence.
One of those people sent packing was notable news anchor Mike Schneider. Schneider granted FishbowlNY an exclusive interview–his first since leaving Bloomberg LP.
“The night before it happened I actually looked at Norm Barnett [6pm producer] and I said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’”
Barnett’s response, according to Schneider, “You think so?”
Both men laughed knowing what the next day would likely bring.
When the next day arrived, as anticipated, Schneider had an impromptu meeting with Andy Lack [chief executive for multimedia unit].
“I knew what was coming by the time I went up to discuss it with him,” Schneider recalls.
His first words after Lack informed him were “These things are never pretty.”
To which, according to Schneider, Lack replied, “No, they’re not.”
“He [Lack] was very respectful of me, and I harbor no hard feelings, whatsoever,” Schneider says. “He’s got a job to do over there, and he felt that these things were necessary.”
Looking back at the events of 18 months ago, Schneider brings his signature gravitas to the situation.
“I’ve been in this business for three decades. I’ve seen cutbacks come in every decade,” Schneider says. “With what was going on on Wall Street, and with the fact that leadership had changed at Bloomberg in order to try to deal with the new realities of the business world…I wasn’t surprised.”
But the veteran newsman was concerned for his talented friends who joined him on the unemployment line.
“A lot of the people with whom I worked that got laid off were, and are, very good people,” Schneider says. “Nobody likes to see good people get hurt.”
• After the jump, Schneider discusses why he’d enjoy a return to Bloomberg.