Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

FT Said to Cut 3% of Editorial Staff as Print Declines

The Financial Times, the salmon-colored newspaper bought by Japan’s Nikkei Inc. in 2015, is eliminating 20 editorial jobs globally through attrition to cut costs as print revenue declines, according to people familiar with the matter.

The newspaper is offering a handful of voluntary buyouts and won’t replace some people who are leaving, which will cause headcount to shrink, said Kristina Eriksson, an FT spokeswoman, in an e-mailed statement. The Financial Times has about 600 editorial staff worldwide.

Online competition is driving declines in print ad spending, hurting the FT and other print publications. Newspaper advertising spending was projected to be $12 billion in 2016, a 75 percent drop from the $49 billion seen in 2005, according to Magna Global. Newspaper ad revenue may shrink to $6 billion by 2020.

The FT is trying to reduce its dependence on ads and focus on boosting subscription revenues. Since Nikkei bought the paper, digital subscribers have increased 17 percent. The publisher aims to reach 1 million print and digital readers by 2020, up from about 840,000 today.

Nikkei bought the London-based Financial Times for $1.3 billion after a bidding war with Germany’s Axel Springer SE. Prior to that, the paper was owned for 58 years by Pearson Plc, which narrowed its focus to turning around its education business.

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

(Corrects target in fourth paragraph.)
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