Tag Archives: Financial Times

FT adds financial dictionary to site

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The Financial Times announced Tuesday the launch of the Financial Times Lexicon, a dedicated glossary of financial terms.

The online glossary is free and has more than 10,000 entries, the capability to join discussions with other readers and the opportunity to suggest new terms.

With content sourced from the Financial Times and Longman Business Dictionaries, the Financial Times Lexicon allows users to search for specific business terms and find definitions online. It is integrated into FT.com content with select phrases from Financial Times editorial highlighted with a link to definitions on Lexicon.

“FT Lexicon is another example of innovative thinking from FT.com and one that has been developed with our users in mind,” said Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, in a statement. “FT Lexicon allows readers to collaborate with leading Financial Times journalists and add to the glossary of financial terms, building a resource that will appeal to many web users.”

Once a user has searched for a specific term, examples of articles where the phrase has been used are also listed to view the term in context. The latest terms are listed on the Financial Times Lexicon homepage, in addition to most viewed and recently viewed phrases. The most relevant phrases to the current news agenda are also listed on the homepage in the “In the News” section regularly updated by the Financial Times editorial team.

Additional features include the option to comment and add feedback on existing phrases, or suggest new phrases. Users are also given the option to share definitions with friends by e-mail and social bookmarking through Facebook and Digg, for example. Phrases are updated on a rolling basis and can be added to watch lists and tracked by users when updated.  Additional RSS feeds can also be established to monitor for “term of the day.”

The puzzling new warning on FT stories online

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Peter Kafka of All Things Digital writes Thursday about the new warning that the Financial Times has put on its Web site stories.

Kafka writes, “But if you’re that confident in your model–which, in short, allows Web surfers to look in on the FT.com site 10 times a month for free but demands payment for anything more than that–what’s with the following message at the bottom of each story?

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

“Anyone else think that strikes a weird tone between pleading and chiding? I’m told the note started showing up on FT stories about three weeks ago and that staffers at the paper are a bit confused about it as well. Here’s how FT spokeswoman Darcy Keller explains the message, via email:

The FT copyright simply protects our ownership of FT content. There is obviously a distinction between third parties referring to FT articles and linking back to FT.com and those that reuse and distribute our content without attributing it to the FT.”

Read more here.

FT to launch luxury magazine

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Matthew Flamm of Crain’s New York writes Thursday about plans by the Financial Times to launch a luxury magazine called FT Wealth, with the first issue coming out on Oct. 16.

Flamm writes, “The magazine is aimed at what it calls global citizens with personal assets of more than $1.65 million, in addition to the value of their home. It will be distributed inside the salmon colored newspaper’s U.S. edition, with about 100,000 copies going to newsstands and subscribers.

“FT Wealth launched in Europe in March 2008, and was originally expected to be rolled out in the U.S. last September, around the same time that the Wall Street Journal launched its luxury quarterly WSJ.

“A Financial Times spokeswoman said that the Pearson-owned company never committed to a specific time frame and that the U.S. rollout was always meant to follow the European launch.”

Read more here.

The FT's Web strategy pays off

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Eric Pfanner of the New York Times writes Sunday about the Web pay strategy of The Financial Times, which has historically been to charge for access.

Pfanner writes, “The FT’s Web site has not attracted a huge paying audience. It stands at about 117,000 worldwide, up from 101,000 when the newspaper adopted a new Web business model in late 2007. That is far short of the one million paying customers of The Journal’s Web site.

“Yet FT.com is lucrative because of its relatively high cost. A premium subscription to the Web site, with access to all content, costs $299 a year in the United States. Adding the print version of the paper costs $100 more. A combined print and online subscription to The Wall Street Journal costs $140.

“Because of rate increases by FT.com, revenue from Web subscriptions has risen 30 percent over the past year, Mr. Ridding said. The FT has also raised the price of its print editions.”

Read more here.

FT preparing iTunes-like pay model

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Ian Burrell of The Independent newspaper in London reports that The Financial Times is about to unveil an online pay model similar to that of iTunes.

Burrell writes, “Senior sources at the FT have confirmed that the group is in discussions with a number of payment processor companies to establish a simple ‘one -lick’ procedure that would enable consumers to pay a small fee for single articles that would otherwise be available only to subscribers.

“FT executives, who hope to have the system in place by 2010, have not settled on the price for an individual story, but say that they have been impressed by the ‘fabulous buying experience’ of iTunes, which allows users to buy a single song for 79p.”

Read more here.

Bad front-page FT story

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Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review can’t believe the front-page story in the Monday Financial Times that states that Goldman Sachs’ image has been tarnished and mentions a poll to back up that assertion — but never provides any of the poll’s numbers.

Chittum writes, “The FT bases its assertion on a survey done for it, but never gives a single number from the survey or even an idea of how much damage has been done. How do you miss that?

“The paper reports that ‘Brand Asset Consulting found that Goldman’s stature –- as measured by several gauges of brand strength –- had suffered in 2008 and 2009′ and that Morgan Stanley also has taken hits as well, though not as badly as Goldman.

“But there’s just zero point to this story without any quantification. Anybody with half a brain can tell you that they’ve seen ‘Goldman Sachs reputation tarnished,’ as the FT’s headline says. Who thinks it’s been enhanced?

“Folks, this is on the front page of the newspaper. You’d be hard-pressed to find a high-school rag that writes a story about numbers without including any of the, you know, numbers.”

Read more here.

FT's circulation, advertising down

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Pearson PLC, the parent of the Financial Times, reported its first half financial results Monday and noted that the business newspaper saw a drop in advertising revenue and circulation.

Aaron Patrick of The Wall Street Journal writes, “But the result highlighted that the FT Publishing division, which includes the Financial Times, has been unable to escape the problems affecting newspapers around the developed world.

“Weaker advertising helped drive down sales at the unit 6% to £176 million from the year-earlier period. That contributed to a 53% fall in operating profit to £14 million — a sign of how a newspaper’s profits can be quickly wiped out by even a small drop in ad revenue because of the cost of maintaining a large staff of journalists.

“Pearson Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino said finance and recruiting ads were sharply down. Newspaper circulation often rises during a crisis but the Financial Times gave away fewer free copies in London’s financial district, Mrs. Scardino said, contributing to a 6% decline in world-wide daily circulation to 421,429. In the U.K., its home market, 24% of the FT’s circulation was given away or sold at a big discount in May, according to the U.K.’s Audit Bureau of Circulations Ltd.

“‘We’re all about who is reading it, not how many people read it,’ Mrs. Scardino said at a news briefing in London.”

Read more here.

The outsider at CNBC

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John Gapper of the Financial Times writes Friday about CNBC‘s Charles Gasparino, who revels in his persona of being an outsider even among the people with whom he works.

Gapper writes, “Gasparino thrives on being awkward, even on being disliked, within CNBC. It burnishes his image as a tough outsider willing to go to battle with anyone – colleague or contact – in pursuit of the story. ‘People at CNBC will tell you that I’m a pain in the ass, hard to manage, that kind of thing, but they benefit from me being that way,’ he says.

“If anything, the onscreen Gasparino is a toned-down version of the off-air one. One morning, he upset Lance Armstrong, the cyclist, by asking him pointedly on CNBC about drug use in sports (Armstrong faced rumours of taking drugs, although he was cleared by inquiries). That evening, Gasparino bumped into Armstrong by chance at Campagnola, another favourite Manhattan haunt.

“‘He looked at me and he goes: ‘You’re an asshole,” recalls Gasparino. So I was like: ‘Mr Armstrong, I want you to know that you answered all the questions perfectly.’ He says: ‘No, no, no, fuck you!’ I said: ‘Listen, we had to ask you one tough question.’ He said: ‘I am never doing your show again. Stick it in your ear.’ Then he got me pissed because he just kept on going. I said: ‘Listen, I am going to give you a little insight into something. If you don’t sit in that chair, we’ll get some other asshole to do it.’ He said: ‘Really?’ I said: ‘Really.’ He said: ‘You can leave now.’ I said: ‘No, this is my restaurant.’”

Read more here.

Why biz journalism matters

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Financial Times editor Lionel Barber spoke to the British Academy on Wednesday night about why journalism matters, and some of his comments centered specifically on business journalism.

Here are the salient parts for business journalists:

“These are the best of times and the worst of times if you happen to be a journalist, especially if you are a business journalist.  The best, because our profession has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to report, analyse and comment on the most serious financial crisis since the Great Crash of 1929.  The worst of times, because the news business is suffering from the cyclical shock of a deep recession and the structural change driven by the internet revolution.”

Later in the speech:

“The third function of journalism is to provide analysis, to explain a complicated event or process in a comprehensible narrative.  Without wishing to turn this lecture into an advertisement for the Financial Times, I must say that we at the FT have long prided ourselves on the analytical form — and the global financial crisis has given us a great showcase for our journalism.  

“The financial crisis started as a highly technical story which went mainstream.  It required a sophisticated understanding of the credit markets and the risks inherent in financial leverage, the use of debt to supplement investment.  Thanks to path-breaking reporting by Gillian Tett, our capital markets editor, the FT held first-mover advantage on the story.  We also benefited from our global network of correspondents, able to report and analyse events as they unfolded. These ranged from the fall of the oligarchs in Russia, the unprecedented monetary interventions by the Fed, Bank of England and European Central Bank, the bail-out of Dubai in the Gulf, and the precipitous decline in economic growth in China.  The point to bear in mind, of course, is that analytical reporting, particularly on a global story, costs serious money.”

Read the entire speech here.

For less than the cover price, you could own BusinessWeek

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Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson of The Financial Times writes that the price to acquire BusinessWeek may be as low as $1.

Edgecliffe-Johnson writes, “Industry members and bankers said Time Warner’s Time Inc, publisher of Fortune, or Forbes would be unlikely to bid for a rival facing similar challenges to themselves. Condé Nast closed Portfolio , a glossy business title, in April.

“Reed Phillips, managing partner of DeSilva & Phillips, a media investment bank, said more probable buyers included OpenGate Capital, which bought TV Guide; Platinum Equity, new owner of the San Diego Union Tribune; or Mansueto Ventures, publisher of FastCompany. Platinum and OpenGate would not comment and Mansueto did not return calls.

“However, the $1 headline price for which OpenGate bought TV Guide ‘is probably the kind of deal that would be obtainable for Business Week,’ Mr Phillips said. ‘I think they’ll end up giving it away,’ another banker stressed, saying its losses were in the tens of millions of dollars.”

Read more here.