Bloomberg Media, the global news organisation headed by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, will lay off about 80 journalists this week in a rare retrenchment for the high-flying company. New York-based Bloomberg employs about 2,400 journalists in 150 bureaus worldwide, and it generally has been in a growth mode in recent years as other news organisations have pared back. But the privately held firm will announce this week that it is cutting about 3 per cent of its editorial staff. The lay-offs will be spread throughout the company and across bureaus, people familiar with the plans said. About a dozen positions will be cut in Bloomberg's 200-person Washington bureau, with a larger, undetermined number in New York and elsewhere. A company spokesman, Ty Trippet, declined to comment on Monday. The lay-offs come after Michael Bloomberg's return about a year ago following three terms as New York mayor to managing Bloomberg LP, the software, data and news company he founded in 1981. The company is the source of Bloomberg's enormous wealth, estimated by Forbes at US$36.9 billion. A few months after his return as chief executive, he hired John Micklethwait, then editor of The Economist , as editor-in-chief of Bloomberg's news operations, replacing co-founder Matthew Winkler. Bloomberg has long specialised in business, economic and technology news that it distributes through the parent company's proprietary terminals, installed in financial services companies around the world. It also owns Bloomberg.com and the Bloomberg TV channel. Micklethwait has sought to beef up and reorganise Bloomberg's Washington news operations, which include Bloomberg Government, a subscription-only service that offers data and analysis about regulatory policy. In an April 23 staff memo, he wrote about "the need to improve our coverage of American government and politics - and my feeling that the many different parts of Editorial have not been working together closely enough". Micklethwait appointed a top lieutenant, Martin Schenker, to oversee global coverage of government, politics and economics from Washington. He also hired Megan Murphy, a former Financial Times journalist, as Washington bureau chief. Micklethwait didn't mention any cutbacks as recently as an August 6 memo, in which he wrote: "Over the next few months, we will continue to look for ways to sharpen our reporting, building new teams in fast commentary, our mobile Daybreak offering and data journalism, as well as redoubling our efforts in Asia. There is a lot to do."