Bloomberg published an obituary for Apple CEO Steve Jobs after the closing bell on Wednesday and quickly retracted it. Amid all the rumors of Jobs' and his pancreatic cancer Bloomberg's timing couldn't have been worse. However, the Bloomberg incident may reveal that rumors about Jobs' health are intensifying.
According to Gawker, Bloomberg published a 17-page obit for Jobs and a reader plucked it off of the terminal and sent it to the site. The report never made it online, but was transmitted over the Bloomberg terminal. Bloomberg is primarily transmitted to trading outfits and elsewhere via pricey terminals that are quite addictive to financial types.
Here's a partial screengrab from Gawker, which has the full obit and sources for reporters.
Pre-written obits are nothing new in journalism. There are probably pre-fab obits flying around many newsrooms. The larger question is why was Bloomberg trigger happy on Wednesday?
My hunch: Bloomberg decided to update the obit after hearing the latest round of rumors. How do I know? I've been hearing them too, but they are largely unsubstantiated. However, the drumbeat about Jobs' health is picking up and it's not just from quick trigger traders. All eyes will be on Jobs and whether he shows at Apple's alleged September event to roll out new Macs and/or iPods. Until then--or Apple and Jobs outline something better than it did for the New York Times--the rumor mill will continue to churn.