Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Joshua Topolsky Fired From Bloomberg

Dylan Byers, Politico:

In recent weeks, the disagreements between Bloomberg and Topolsky hit a fever pitch, sources there said. This week, Bloomberg finally declared that he no longer wanted to work with Topolsky and demanded that he be moved off the Digital team. Topolsky agreed to leave on Thursday, though he will stay at Bloomberg offices until next week, when the company is expected to make a formal announcement.

Joe Pompeo:

Bloomberg/Micklethwait weren’t down w/ Topolsky/Tyrangiel/Smith’s designy, splashy, photo-driven design for Bloomberg Biz, per my sources.

According to Alexa — so take it with a grain of salt — Bloomberg’s traffic skyrocketed immediately after the launch of the redesign. I’d venture a guess that these new visitors have generally been younger and less traditional. By that measure, it’s been a success, but the makeover received a mixed response:

… a vibrant, responsive design relaunch for Bloomberg Business that pulls you in as much as it spits in your eye.

[…]

Note the pinkish overlays. The strange, overlapping logotype. The pushy, flat hues. This error page. Scroll down and you’ll find a Web 1.0 gradient behind an exposé on the Islamic State.

I don’t understand the redesign, yet I’m oddly drawn to it, and I visit Bloomberg far more now than I ever had previously. But it’s jarring, and it clashes somewhat with the assumed image of a company reporting largely on economics and world politics.

Is that the entire reason for Topolsky’s outing? Probably not, and the company’s framing is pretty odd in that light:

Josh Topolsky is one of the most creative digital journalists that I have met. He has done a wonderful job for us in launching Bloomberg Business — the numbers speak for themselves — and he has remained a consistent innovator.

But:

[Michael] Bloomberg, a notorious micro-manager, had been fighting with Topolsky for months about the direction of the website, which had been relaunched under Topolsky’s leadership in January, company sources said.

Strange.