Tag Archives: Financial Times


Gina Chon joins Financial Times


Business journalist Gina Chon, who most recently was at Quartz, has joined the Financial Times to cover U.S. regulatory stories.

Chon reports to Richard McGregor, the FT’s Washington bureau chief.

Chon had been at Quartz, the business news site run by The Atlantic, for less than a year. She previously was at The Wall Street Journal, where she resigned in June 2012 after admitting to sharing stories before publication with a government official who later became her husband while in Iraq.

Chon joined the Journal in 2005 in Detroit, followed by an assignment as Iraq correspondent in Baghdad from 2007 to 2009. She also reported for the Journal from Haiti in 2010 in the aftermath of the earthquake and has served as a M&A reporter for Money & Investing in New York since April 2010.

Prior to that, she wrote a book about the Khmer Rouge, trained Iraqi journalists, worked for AsiaWeek and Fortune in Seoul, was an editor at The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh, and reported and edited for the Associated Press. Gina speaks Korean, along with some French and Arabic.


Bloomberg: Financial Times is not for sale


Chris Smith of New York Magazine interviewed New York mayor Michael Bloomberg about a number of issues, including whether he’d buy the Financial Times, which has rumored to be for sale.

Here is an excerpt:

Does the future of journalism include you owning the Financial Times or the New York Times?
The Financial Times is not for sale. The New York Times is certainly not for sale.

But I’ve always said if you read Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist cover to cover every week, you will know more than if you read the newspapers every day. And it’s probably true. And I think I’d say that about Businessweek even if it wasn’t owned by Bloomberg.

And if the Times were for sale?
I can’t answer a question like that. There are a handful of great newspapers with great journalism still. I don’t necessarily agree with their editorial policies or even their front page, but the Times is one of the great newspapers.

So you’d be interested.
As a reader, yes.

No, as a businessman.
I just can’t answer your question because you don’t know—I think the future of print journalism is problematic. Why Bezos bought the Post, I have no idea. He said that he wasn’t going to get involved in it. What’s the point of owning it if you don’t? Certainly not to make money. If you wanna have fun, buy the New York Post.

Read more here.


Private equity investor: Biz journalists can be your friends


Luke Johnson, who runs a private equity firm, writes on Tuesday’s Financial Times about how those in his field should talk more to business journalists.

Johnson writes, “Journalists will very rarely simply push the angle you want. They often approach a business story from a sceptical view. Inevitably, they want the personal element in any article – they are probably more interested in your house, car and net worth than the products you are trying to promote.

“Every profile is a trade-off: information you are willing to share against coverage they are willing to devote to your business. Ultimately, the writer and their editor decide what goes in the piece. And never think you can manipulate a journalist to print your version of the truth: competent ones will cross-check the facts.

“Many captains of industry assume the press are their enemy. In fact the opposite can be the case. Sir Richard Branson has always assiduously courted journalists and his activities have, in my opinion, been reported in a friendly way as a consequence. Indeed, positive appearances in the media have been a vital way of building the Virgin brand.

“Often I am rung up because a journalist has heard a rumour about an acquisition we might be about to make. Usually I come out with a bland response such as, ‘We never comment on market rumours,’ whatever the truth of the suggestion. Occasionally, one feels obliged to offer more, for good or bad reasons. You can talk off the record or on an unattributable basis, and all respectable writers will honour that curious code. Inevitably, if you help a reporter they are more likely to give your side of events a sympathetic airing.”

Read more here.

Robert Armstrong

FT names Armstrong head of Lex column


The Financial Times announced Monday the appointment of Robert Armstrong as head of Lex, the flagship daily opinion column available to premium FT.com subscribers and located on the back page of the newspaper.

Armstrong assumes this role with immediate effect and in January 2014 will relocate from New York to London, where he will manage Lex’s renowned team of columnists based throughout the globe.

“Robert brings clear and practical knowledge of global companies and markets,” said Lionel Barber, editor of the FT, in a statement. “He has already been instrumental in shaping the most respected business column in the world. His appointment ensures that the FT’s financial commentary will remain sharp and indispensable across all platforms, especially as Lex enters the next phase of digital development.”

“Since joining the FT in 2011, Armstrong has served as U.S. Lex editor and U.S. Lex columnist, focusing on US technology, health care and consumer goods companies. Prior to this, he was a senior columnist at Dow Jones Investment Banker and an equities securities analyst at Seminole Capital Partners.”

FT logo

How the FT is a breeding ground for top journalists


Maggie Brown of The Guardian in London writes about how many top journalists today got their start at The Financial Times.

Brown writes, “Future Times editor and News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson was already established at the FT when Harding arrived, having spent the previous decade as Beijing and then Toyko correspondent, and became his mentor.

“In his next job as the FT’s foreign news editor, Thomson assisted Harding’s key move to open a Shanghai office in 1996.

“The following year, Lambert moved to New York for 12 months to oversee the launch of the FT’s US edition, giving further scope for his talented recruits to flourish. Thomson became assistant editor in London. Lambert says: ‘The paper was going well to start with, and then a new opportunity was opening up.’

“If staff wanted to be a foreign correspondent, and report from around the world, they had their chance. Harding seized it. Bell still remembers a piece he wrote from Shanghai: “It was a matter of pride that he impressed with an article on how to cook a snake.”

“Harding went on to become media editor and Washington bureau chief. The FT, with its focus on business, finance, economics and foreign affairs, provides access to very powerful people. That is how Harding first met Rupert Murdoch, and his son James.

“Lambert observes that the US expansion served as ‘a very important pulpit’ to get noticed by the White House for top FT writers.”

Read more here.


FT names Edgecliffe-Johnson its U.S. news editor, Silverman its U.S. national editor


The Financial Times announced Monday the appointment of Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson as U.S. news editor.

Starting in October, he will coordinate the FT’s daily Americas news coverage globally.

In his 16 years at the FT, Edgecliffe-Johnson has been deputy news editor, covered mergers & acquisitions, overseen management features and written for the influential Lex column. Since 2005 he has been global media editor, leading coverage of music, entertainment, digital media, marketing and big data.

Martin Dickson, FT U.S. managing editor, said in a statement: “Andrew has been a superb media editor, who has won great respect across the industries he covers. With his history of excellence in reporting, editing and team leadership, he will be a strong and dynamic U.S. news editor.”

Gary Silverman, currently US news editor, will remain US deputy managing editor while taking on the new position of U.S. national editor. In this role, Silverman will continue to write his lauded New York Notebook column and analyze key business issues.

Lionel Barber, editor of the FT, said in a statement: “Gary has been the guiding force behind our outstanding coverage of the global financial crisis and its impact on Wall Street. His brilliant eye for a story, his impeccable judgement, his quick, sure editing, and his support and encouragement of colleagues has made him a model editor at home and abroad.”


Pearson looking to sell Mergermarket


Pearson is exploring a possible sale of the Mergermarket Group, which has approximately 300 journalists covering mergers and acquisitions and is unit that is part of the Financial Times Group, according to a story on BtoB Media Business.

The story states, “‘This process is at an early stage, and there is no certainty that it will lead to a transaction,’ the company said in a statement announcing its interim financial results for the first half.

“Mergermarket specializes in M&A and corporate financial news and analysis with brands including Dealreporter, Debtwire, Policy and Regulatory Report and Wealthmonitor. Founded in 2000 and acquired by Pearson in 2006, Mergermarket generates more than $150 million in annual sales, Pearson CEO John Fallon told analysts during an earnings call last week.

“‘Mergermarket is a growing business. It’s digital. It’s global. It’s service-oriented, and it has certainly flourished under Pearson’s ownership. It’s a highly valuable business in its own right, but we don’t see it playing any meaningful role in our emerging professional learning strategy,’ Fallon said during the call. ‘The process that we will now undertake over the next few months will determine whether we can be persuaded that it is worth more to somebody else than it is to Pearson.’”

Read more here.


FTChinese.com hits 2 million registered users


FTChinese.com, the Financial Times Chinese language website, now has more than 2 million registered users.

The site provides news from the FT’s international team of journalists translated into the local language.

“This achievement is an important milestone for the FT’s expansion into Asia,” said managing director for Asia Angela Mackay in a statement. “It strengthens our position in the region and broadens our base of loyal readers. Our investment in China reflects the FT’s focus on fast growing emerging markets and our shift towards digital and content revenues.”

FTChinese.com has also seen strong mobile and social media growth, with 316,000 downloads of the FTC iPad app and more than 3 million followers across Tencent, SinaWeibo and WeChat. The FTC MBA Gym app, a creative education tool with tailored training courses and special articles from the FT, was selected by Apple as a China App store “best of 2012.”

Additional FT investment in Asia includes the launch of ASEAN Confidential, a new digital subscription service offering insight and analysis into the economies of Southeast Asia, and the FT Non-Executive Director Diploma, the first post-graduate course designed to equip non-executives with the skills they need to prepare for the company board.

The FT also has an extensive partnership with Nikkei Inc. that includes content syndication and licensing, education, subscription sales, events and growing both brands in China.

FT Flipboard

What it means for the FT to be digital first


Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review interviewed Financial Times editor Lionel Barber about the business newspaper’s digital-first strategy.

Here is an excerpt:

DS: Is the main sort of attraction of the print paper going to be longer, in-depth things that will be able to stay fresh for…

LB: Not necessarily, no. That’s one of the great intellectual and journalistic challenges which I’m relishing at the moment, is to reinvent, somewhat, the newspaper. That means actually you need to package information in the paper in an engaging way. And I would submit that, if you look at the FT, look at the use of graphics, particularly where we have hired a brilliant guy from the Guardian, Kevin Wilson, more than five years ago, who’s had a huge impact on the Financial Times. We have transformed how we tackle subjects. And, the Web has influenced how we use design and graphics to convey difficult themes. The next point is, we pride ourselves in the FT in writing very concisely, but with context.

We’re slightly less fussy. I respect American newspapers and American journalism enormously. You know I spent time at an American newspaper [as a visiting fellow at The Washington Post in the 1980s]. We’re snappy. We have attribution, but we allow a little bit more comment-stroke-judgments to be made in the news form. And I think we can do that because we’re trusted. So you can have really quite rich, informative 400-word articles. Then there’s the long form, yes. One of the most gratifying things that I’ve seen in the last year or so is that some of the most read articles in the Financial Times have been the long form.

Read more here.


Pearson’s shares rise on report of FT sale


Shares of London-based Pearson rose about 1 percent to $17.90 Friday morning on a report that News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch and Abu Dhabi’s state media group are exploring an acquisition of the Financial Times Group, reports Matthew Rocco of FoxBusiness.com

Rocco writes, “A report from The Edge Review, a digital magazine based in Malaysia, said Murdoch was in talks with Abu Dhabi Media Group to buy Pearson’s business news unit for $1.2 billion, citing financial executives familiar with the talks. A deal could be completed as early as next week, the report added.

“The purported deal would give Abu Dhabi Media Group a 75% stake in the venture, while Murdoch would control the remaining stake. However, the report said Murdoch is looking for an additional 25% stake.

“A News Corp. spokeswoman said the report is ‘completely untrue.’

“A spokesman for Pearson said The Financial Times is not for sale, and the company ‘is not in any talks to sell it.’ He added that the FT is an important part of Pearson’s strategy to ‘tap the substantial market for learning among globally minded business people.’

“The report comes just before News Corp., the parent company of FOX Business, officially splits into two companies after markets close Friday.

“One company will retain the News Corp. name and include publishing and education assets, such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and HarperCollins. The other, 21st Century Fox, will include television and film assets.”

Read more here.