Tag Archives: Financial Times
London-based Pearson Plc, the parent company of The Financial Times, reported at its annual meeting on Friday that the business newspaper was off to a strong start in 2006 after posting a profit in 2005 for the first time in three years.
In a statement, the company said, “The Financial Times Group improved profits by more than one-third in 2005 and we expect a further significant increase this year. IDC expects another good year, benefiting from similar business conditions to 2005, strong organic growth and the contribution of recent acquisitions. The Financial Times is performing well as circulation improves (up 4%), advertising revenue increases (up 13%) and we continue to convert at least 80% of our advertising gains into profit.”
The release can be read here.
A Reuters story about the performance is here.
There have been rumors that Pearson might sell the FT, but the company has consistently declined that the paper is for sale, or that they are shopping it.
A shareholder advisory group is opposing a proposed compensation schedule for British-based Pearson PLC, the parent of the Financial Times newspaper, according to a Dow Jones report.
Dow Jones writes, “PIRC said Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino’s possible earning power, which will be outlined in the remuneration report to be released at the AGM Friday, could be a maximum of 375% of salary, excluding her annual bonus.
“PIRC said it had concerns over the incentive schemes and contract termination provisions and also opposed the new long-term incentive scheme because the targets aren’t challenging.”
Read the rest of the story here.
The Financial Times reported a profit in 2005 for the first time in years. Still, Scardino has been under some pressure in recent years, and there have been calls from investors to sell the company.
Media Life, in reporting on the appointment yesterday afternoon of John Micklethwait to become the new editor of British-based The Economist, notes that the new editor’s experience here in the States will be essential to the future success of the publication.
Heidi Dawley writes, “The U.S. has been the Economist’s growth market for some years now, with recent strong circulation gains, and under Micklethwait it will continue to build its U.S. presence, adding new bureaus as it strives to further expand its subscriber base.
“The U.S. now accounts for almost half the magazine’s total circulation, at 515,480 of just under 1.1 million total, and well more than the 160,000 it sells in its home market. Though so unlike U.S. weekly newsmagazines, the Economist has crafted a mystique in the U.S. as a must-read for its global view, especially among business executives, and that led to a doubling of U.S. subscribers in the last decade.
“The Economist has been more successful in that regard than the other leading UK import, the Financial Times, whose U.S. circulation is around 125,000, or less than a third of its total circulation.
“To its credit, the Economist has also proved an able contender for advertising against both the U.S. newsweeklies and business titles, such as Forbes and Business Week, even with its much smaller circulation.”
Read the entire story here.
John Yunker, writing on Corante, hopes that the magazine doesn’t become too American under Micklethwait. He writes, “I just hope that this added US coverage doesn’t come at the expense of non-US coverage. After all, that’s why I read the magazine and why I suspect many of the other 569,000 American subscribers do. The US is now the magazine’s largest subscriber market, which I believe is due to the fact that US papers have closed their foreign bureaus over the years (a myopic error of epic proportions in this age of globalization).
“There is no shortage of coverage of the US, but if I want to know what’s going on in Tanzania, I first turn to The Economist. So here’s hoping that every new bureau the magazine opens in the US is matched by a bureau abroad.”
Louise Kehoe, who worked for the Financial Times for 23 years, including a stint has the newspaper’s Silicon Valley bureau chief, has accepted a job as a senior vice president for Ogilvy pubic relations in its San Francisco office.
According to a press release, Kehoe will work in counseling current clients, identifying targeted new business opportunities, and coaching staff on developing high-level media strategies.
Kehoe spent most of her journalism career at the Financial Times, first as a reporter and later as U.S. technology editor, Silicon Valley bureau chief and columnist. During her 23-year tenure with the publication, she covered all aspects of the tech sector including the semiconductor, computer, software and communications industries. She wrote about industry trends, trade issues, anti-trust lawsuits and the social and economic impact of technology.
In addition, Kehoe was ranked as one of the most influential journalists in her field in 2001 and 2002 by Adweek’s Technology Marketing magazine.
Prior to her work at the FT, Kehoe was a regular contributor to the Economist, New Scientist and several technology publications.
Read the release here.
James Montgomery, who had been the Financial Times U.S. news editor, is going to London to become the paper’s online editor, according to an article in Brand Republic this morning.
Alex Donohue writes, “Financial Times editor Lionel Barber has made more key appointments, bringing James Montgomery back from the US to be the editor of FT.com, replacing Simon Targett, who was editor of the site for less than a year.
“Montgomery will return to London from his current post as the FT’s US news editor later this month. Targett, who was only made FT.com editor in June last year, will become editor of the FT’s special supplements and reports.
“The FT says Montgomery will help strengthen the website’s position as the world’s most popular business news website. It currently has more than 85,000 subscribers,
“Montgomery will report to Barber and work alongside Paul Murphy, who was recently made FT.com’s development editor.”
Read the article here.
Just one point: The FT.com is not the world’s most popular business news site. WSJ.com has nearly 800,000 paid subscribers.
Reuters is reporting that former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers has been named to a top communications job at Lehman Brothers, four months after he stepped down from the FT due to strategic differences with its owners.
I find the move interesting because I was in New York Friday and met with two Lehman PR people from the U.S. headquarters — Randy Whitestone and Brian Finnegan. Whitestone is a former Bloomberg and Associated Press reporter, while Finnegan is a former Newark Star-Ledger reporter. It seems as if Lehman is leaning heavily on finding journalists to staff its PR department.
Reuters writes about Gowers: “Gowers will become Lehman’s head of corporate communications, advertising and brand and marketing strategy for Europe. Since leaving the FT in November, he has been overseeing a government intellectual property law initiative and writing a column for the Sunday Times.”
Later, the wire service notes, “Since he was replaced by U.S. managing editor Lionel Barber, Pearson Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino has said the FT would increase coverage of finance and business in the City of London, and the paper has ended a long-standing hiring freeze.”
Read the story here.
The Financial Times’ web site is free through March 11, so everyone can see what stories noted New York-based financier Wilbur Ross is picking as the most important.
The newspaper’s press release states, “Prominent leaders in US business will be given a forum through which they have the opportunity to reach an audience of other highly influential and dynamic business and opinion
leaders. Wilbur Ross, the world-famous turnaround investor, James Cayne, chairman & CEO, Bear Stearns, John Castellani, president, Business Roundtable, and David Shedlarz, vice-chairman, Pfizer, will each choose what they consider to be the top news stories of the day and share their selection and rationale with readers of FT.com. This is an extraordinary and unique opportunity to learn what issues are top of mind for some of the most powerful leaders in the global business community.”
Read the press release here.
In a related move, the Houston Chronicle is considering allowing disgraced Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, currently on trial, to act as consultants on a major revamping of its business section.
Seriously, do readers of business news really care what stories executives think are most important?
Pearson Plc, the British-based parent of The Financial Times, reported Monday its year-end financial results, including details of the newspaper’s financial performance.
In a combined Bloomberg News and Reuters report on the International Herald Tribune, this was reported: “At The Financial Times, sales were up 6 percent last year as the newspaper made a profit of Â£2 million, the company said. The newspaper suffering operating losses in previous years as financial and technology advertising declined.
“The return to profit came despite the departure of the editor of The Financial Times in November and persistent speculation that Pearson might sell it.
“‘I don’t know what’s going to scotch those rumors, I’ve given up,’ [CEO Marjorie] Scardino said on a conference call with journalists. ‘My aim is just to get the FT back to serious profit.’
“She repeated her consistent views that all three of the company’s divisions work together and added that Pearson would look for smaller acquisitions.
“Financial Times advertising revenue is up 12 percent so far this year, and circulation is up 4 percent.
“‘The FT seems to be enjoying some buoyant ad gains to date, which is contrary to trends we’ve seen from The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere in the newspaper industry,’ Simon Baker, a media analyst at SG, said.”
The Independent newspaper in England is reporting in its Sunday newspaper that some shareholders are pressuring Pearson PLC to sell The Financial Times newspaper. Pearson is expected to report financial results on Monday that show that the newspaper made a profit after years of losses.
This wire report noted: “Axa Investment Management, which owns a 2.2 pct stake, is urging management to sell the paper, the Independent claimed, and others are pushing for a sale behind the scenes.
“‘It certainly has few earnings to value, but it is hard to imagine it does not have some trophy asset value,’ Axa fund manager Richard Marwood told the Independent.
“The company’s leading investor, US fund manager Franklin Templeton, first backed an FT sale last year.”
The Press Gazette newspaper in England reports: “The Financial Times has ended its threeyear freeze on hiring new editorial staff, finally providing some good news for journalist job-hunters.
“Press Gazette has learned that the Pink ‘Un will definitely move into profit for the first time since 2001 when parent company Pearson announces its full-year results next month.
“And the paper is expected to enjoy another period back in the black this year.
“The FT news follows heavy editorial job cuts announced across the UK newspaper industry in recent months after a tough advertising market and economic slowdown in 2005.
“But according to an FT spokesman: ‘The market is picking up and that time is right to bring in new talent from outside. The hiring freeze was for a very specific period during the most powerful business advertising recession we’ve seen.
“‘We are still keeping our belts pretty tight, but we have always said when the market did begin to pick up we would start to bring in some talent from outside.’”
Read the entire article here.