Stephen Baker, a senior writer at Business Week, is part of the group that was not offered a job after that magazine was bought by Bloomberg. Steve’s journalism has been a tremendous boon to the world of operations research. His cover story “Math will Rock Your World” pointed out all the ways mathematics is affecting business and even mentioned operations research by name. He attended our conferences, and worked some of our stories into the bestselling book “The Numerati”.
So what is with the new Business Week? If I can quote Steve about trying to sell the world we live in to the mainstream business press:
At the O.R. conference (the association is called INFORMS), there were far too many interesting presentations for one person to cover them all. The people behind operations at Intel, IBM, the Army, Ford and plenty of others provided inside looks. Beat reporters of those companies could have feasted on these lectures. But they weren’t there.
Why? The press covers news, stocks, companies and personalities. But try pitching a cover story on operations. People think it’s … boring.
Baker goes on to explain why it is really not boring and is really important. But the Bloomberg people obviously didn’t read far enough or weren’t creative enough to understand what Baker provides.
I’m pretty darn confident that Steve will end up OK (or better than OK!): he is a fine writer and an intelligent man (if you have a job for him, run and get him: here is his resume). I am much less confident how Business Week will end up.