“Are you aware that Bloomberg fired Craig Copetas, its star Paris-based feature writer?” asks a tipster. This person who is in a position to know details — and it’s not Copetas — sends this report and asks not be be named:
Craig Copetas, ex-Rolling Stone, ex-Esquire, was hired away from the WSJ by Ed-in-chief Matt Winkler in 2000.
His brief was to schmooze with the rich, target them as his readership and travel the world in pursuit of distractions for the wealthy. Resulted a series of stories about luxury cars and mini-submarines built to measure for billionaires who have everything, let alone restaurants that cost an arm and a leg. But he was also in the first wave of reporters into Iraq in 2003, embedded with invading troops.
For years, he was a Winkler favorite until he went to Dubai. Some three years ago, Copetas angered the local Bloomberg bosses in the emirate – anxious to keep the peace with the many millionaire Bloomberg customers there – by seeking to uncover tales of human rights abuses, including alleged police torture with the complicity of a member of the royal family, and persecution of foreign businessmen.
Suddenly, Winkler’s door slammed in his face.
The only mystery is why it took Winkler so long to downgrade Copetas to a non-person and get him out. The actual meeting to fire him, in mid-January, came as a surprise, apparently. His team leader and an HR person turned up unannounced in Paris to tell him it was over.
I reached Copetas in Paris and he declined comment. I have asked Bloomberg News for comment. UPDATE: They declined comment.
Ironically, Copetas’s book, “Mona Lisa’s Pajamas,” is dedicated to Winkler (and others).