Tag Archives: Financial Times
Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times, delivered the annual Hugh Cudlipp Lecture on Monday at the London College of Communication and discussed the changing world of journalism and how the FT’s strategy fits in.
Barber said, “Third, we swung firmly behind the principle of charging for content. At the height of the dotcom bubble, we havered between charging for business news while offering general news for free. In practice, the distinction, at least for FT readers, was meaningless. So we came up with an ingenious compromise.
“From 2007, we started charging for content based on a meter model. Users would be given a limited number of free articles to entice them into first registering and later
signing up for subscription.
“Four years on, the meter model has proved to be an industry pioneer and an unequivocal success. FT.com now has more than 3.2m registered users and more than 200,000 paid subscribers. Other publications, including the New York Times, are now adopting or about to adopt similar meter models.
“Fourth, we abandoned or revised arrangements which allowed other news providers or aggregators to sell our content to third parties in return for a fee. In future, we determined, we would sell direct to our customers. And we would aggressively pursue any party seeking through cookies or sharing of password to gain access to our
content for free. Yes, believe it or not, some people do still think there is free lunch with the FT.”
Read more here.
Kellaway writes, “The problem with Fortune’s rankings – and with all similar ones – is not that the exercise is a daft one. Actually, it is quite worthwhile. It is helpful both to prospective employees and to managers. The problem is that it makes an extremely simple thing seem fantastically complicated.
“We all know what distinguishes a good employer from a bad one. A good one provides four basic things. First, it makes sure that everyone has a proper job to do. Second, it pays them fairly. Third, it makes employees feel that their efforts are recognised. And fourth, it gives them nice people to work with. That’s all: there is nothing else.
“Fortunately, there is an easy way to measure whether a company is succeeding at these things. It doesn’t involve answering tiresome questions on long feedback forms. It does not require any examination of benefits or of corporate social responsibility policies. There is nothing subjective about the test at all.
“It simply measures how long people stay with a company. This is the only consideration that matters. Anyone who is not happy with their job will eventually go somewhere else. If most people stay put for a long time, the company automatically proves itself to be a good place to work.”
Read more here.
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson of the Financial Times writes about the relationship between television talk show hose Charlie Rose and Bloomberg News in the wake of Rose’s recent lunch with FT managing editor Gillian Tett.
Edgecliffe-Johnson writes, “Step by step, it is trying to widen its audience, from trading-room professionals to private investors, from lobbyists to lawyers. In December, plans were announced for an ‘editorial page,’ Bloomberg View, intended to hew closely to the views of Bloomberg’s owner, the mayor of New York City.
“Yet throughout its expansion there has been a hint of neurosis that this product of Wall Street is not taken quite seriously enough in Washington or in boardrooms around the world. That is where Rose comes in, with his nightly gatherings of presidents, chief executives, authors and thinkers (now supplemented with a Bloomberg BusinessWeek column).
“Rose himself is chasing a wider audience through Bloomberg’s global reach, and looks unlikely to lose the cult status his PBS show earned him. In 2008, a fan spliced together a YouTube clip of Rose apparently interviewing himself in the style of Samuel Beckett. Random words such as ‘Google … Radiohead … blogs’ interrupt the dramatic pauses: ‘Steve [Jobs] is not happy … What’s gonna happen?’ For three-and-a-half minutes, the video gives fans the thrill of seeing Charlie Rose meet his match: Charlie Rose.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Alex Aldridge of LegalWeek interviewed to Financial Times general counsel Tim Bratton about how his job is connected to the business newspaper’s growth goals.
Aldridge writes, “Although Bratton sees his role at the FT as ‘essentially pretty similar to many other in-house legal jobs,’ there are, he points out, some unique challenges involved in working for the organisation. Many of these relate to the FT’s goal of increasing revenue from its digital business. This means fluency in copyright law is a prerequisite for the FT’s in-house lawyers, alongside an ability to think commercially about an area that to date has proven notoriously difficult to make money from.
“Bratton comments: ‘We pursue a strategy of selling usage rights accessible to clients who purchase a licence via a range of platforms, including the newspaper’s website FT.com, iPad or BlackBerry apps and platforms established by third parties which are licensed to provide FT content, such as LexisNexis. This obviously throws up a range of legal issues which have significant commercial implications.’
“Handling these involves the team working closely with the sales division and the company’s financial decision-makers, with Bratton himself reporting to FT chief financial officer Scott Henderson. The exception is media lawyer Julia Apostle, formerly of DLA Piper, who deals with editorial-related legal concerns and sits permanently on the FT’s news desk.”
Read more here.
Richard Edgar, global head of video for the Financial Times, was interviewed by Andy Plesser of Beet.TV about the paper’s growth in digital subscriptions and the expansion of its video operations.
The Financial Times continues to attract an increasing number of audience ‘eyeballs’ and paying customers for its content across all channels.
The London-based business newspaper has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 597,015, up 3 percent from on the last quarter. It’s also got a combined print and online average daily readership of 1.9 million people worldwide.
Online, the FT has 206,892 paying digital subscribers, breaking the 200,000 barrier for the first time and up 71 percent year on year.
The Financial Times print newspaper has a daily circulation of 390,121.
The Americas are the biggest individual region for FT.com subscriptions and registered users.
by Chris Roush
Salmon writes, “Murphy is asking his overstretched journalists (just one person for all of Latin America, for instance) to tell financial professionals something they don’t already know: that’s a tall order.
“The big picture here, to me, is not that the FT is making an ambitious move into becoming a genuinely global financial-news organization, but rather that it isn’t. Important news about what’s going on in crucial global markets should be a core competency of the FT, a key part of why people read it rather than, say, the WSJ, which seems to be more interested in building up its New York City coverage. Instead, the big Tilt project is being ghettoized behind its own high paywall, is being forced to pay for itself through high-priced subscriptions, and is being deliberately withheld from the broader FT audience.
“I’ve said before that the FT is retreating to a newsletter model; I called that ‘a sad and narrow fate for what should be a proud and global newspaper.’ Tilt only reinforces that diagnosis, and seems to be based on the idea that the FT won’t invest in ambitious new projects which are central to what its target audience wants, unless it can wall those projects off and get them to pay for themselves on a narrow, self-standing basis.”
Read more here.
“Recent years have seen economic power shift—or tilt—south and east,” said Paul Murphy, editor-in-chief of FT Tilt, in a statement. “This trend is accelerating rather than diminishing and we see strong demand from our core professional readers for increasingly granular news and insight in markets beyond the developed G3 economies. The service will connect the dots across the emerging world to present a holistic view of this vibrant and increasingly central story.”
FT Tilt has dedicated writers stationed in regional bureaus around the world, providing detailed coverage of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Launched by the team responsible for the multi-award winning financial blog FT Alphaville, this new service draws on a rich pedigree of producing exclusive, market-moving news and thoughtful analysis. FT Tilt has been developed as part of the FT’s broader effort to provide specialized coverage with tangible value to niche audiences.
Read more here.
Robert Andrews of PaidContent.org interviewed Paul Murphy, the editor in chief of FT Tilt, a new site from the Financial Times covering emerging market economies.
“‘We’re going after a very, very professional audience who know their stuff. We have to match that in terms of the quality and depth and granularity of our coverage. These are not people who want general stories about ‘The Rise Of China’ or something similar.
“‘We did quite a lot of research in to this — feedback was that this audience want companies and markets in these fast-growing regions covered to a similar depth that we cover companies and markets in the west. That isn’t really happening at the moment. It comes down to resources — most papers have cut back on international staff quite dramatically in the last decade.
“‘Western business media generally is very fixated with London and New York – an M&A deal worth $500 billion gets on to the front page and yet a deal in India or Dubai that’s $20 billion ends up on page 136, below the fold and restricted to 100 words. The news agenda is out of sync with the general economy and business.’”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Here are Talking Biz News’ top business journalism events for the year 2010:
10. Ad revenue returns to business magazines. After suffering two years of declines in advertising revenue and advertising pages, the third quarter of 2010 saw the 14 business magazines report a 7.9 percent increase in advertising revenue and a 5.4 percent rise in advertising pages. That compares to a 5.3 percent increase in ad revenue and a 3.6 percent increase in ad pages for the overall magazine industry. And Bloomberg Businessweek says it returned to positive growth in the fourth quarter.
9. Lou Dobbs returns to business journalism. The longtime business anchor at CNN had gotten away from a traditional business news show before he left the cable network in 2009. In 2010, he signed a deal to return to the air with Fox Business Network. Dobbs is a polarizing figure who will draw attention to Fox Business as it attempts to unseat CNBC as the No. 1 business news channel.
8. Business media apps proliferate. There were dozens of applications for smart phones, iPads and other technology launched by business news organizations in 2010, resulting in additional revenue and additional readers. Our favorite: The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal on iPad.
7. “Nightly Business Report” is sold. The longtime public broadcasting business news show was sold in 2010 after being owned for more than 30 years by a Miami PBS station. There’s been some changes at the program, including a small reduction in staff, and some changes in content.
6. Bloomberg Businessweek’s redesign. The overhaul, launched in April, showed that its new owners were serious about keeping the weekly around after many predicted its demise. It’s now got much more of an edge and an attitude.
5. Shakeout among business journals. While business journals such as the Ocala Business Journal and the Blue Ridge Business Journal stopped publication, and business weeklies owned by Brown Publishing were sold across the country after it filed for bankruptcy court protection, American City Business Journals — the dominant player in the weekly market — got stronger by redesigning its sites and launching smart phone apps for all of its 40 papers. ACBJ also announced that it was returning a 5 percent pay cut it mandated in 2009 to its employees in early 2011.
4. Bloomberg decides to take over the world. No business journalism organization has been more aggressive in the past 12 months in expanding its reach. The New York-based Bloomberg News launched a number of newsletters and unveiled BGov, a new editorial service that will cover the intersection of business and government. It also announced it would be starting an editorial page in 2011.
3. Forbes’ top-to-bottom overhaul. The business magazine brought in chief product officer Lewis Dvorkin to lead a radical revamp of its entire operations. But, its changes have not come without criticism, as some have questioned its decision to allow companies to provide blog content on its site.
2. Bloomberg and Fox Business sue the federal government. Both news organizations want the federal government to release documents that show what was done to help Wall Street firms and other businesses during the economic crisis. After a protracted battle, it appears that business media has won. Their actions show that business media is looking out for the best interests of its consumers.
1. Hiring returns to business journalism. Talking Biz News estimated that roughly 400 business journalists lost jobs in 2009 as many media organizations cut back on their business news desks. However, in 2010, Talking Biz News estimates that 250 jobs were added in the field of business journalism, primarily at the wire services — Associated Press, Bloomberg (with at least 100 going to work for BGov), Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters all added to their business news staffs in the past 12 months. The Wall Street Journal also added to its staff, and other media, such as the Financial Times with its new FT Tilt product, also hired.