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Financial Times Moves to Single Print Issue in Digital Push

Pearson Plc (PSON)’s Financial Times will consolidate its print edition into a single, global newspaper in the first half of 2014, using its website for breaking news as the publisher focuses on growth in digital products.

“The 1970s-style newspaper publishing process -- making incremental changes to multiple editions through the night -- is dead,” Lionel Barber, the Financial Times’s editor, said today in a memo to staff posted on its website. “In future, our print product will derive from the Web offering -- not vice versa.”

The new print edition will have minimal late evening changes, meaning staff will go to work earlier in the day, and its content will shift away from breaking news to focus on analysis and “show pages” with data and graphics, according to the memo. Online stories will be published to correspond with peak viewing times, much like a broadcast schedule, and the website will include FT and some third-party content.

The move is part of a broader shift from print to digital across London-based Pearson to match customers’ reading habits. Chief Executive Officer John Fallon unveiled a companywide reorganization in May that increased spending to accelerate the push into digital services. The FT was first published in 1888. Its digital subscriptions now exceed those of its print edition by more than 100,000, according to the memo.

“The competitive pressures on our business to adapt to an environment where we are increasingly being read on the desktop, smartphone and tablet -– remain as strong as ever,” Barber said. “The pace of change, driven by technology, is relentless.”

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Financial Times in providing financial news and information.

Pearson rose 0.9 percent to 1,254 pence at the close in London. The stock has gained 5.6 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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