Lionel Barber to cut 35 jobs in ‘big cultural shift’ for business daily
Barber said the FT will make a net headcount reduction of 25 – after hiring 10 journalists for digital roles – in an effort to save £1.6m this year as part of the strategy, outlined to staff in a memo on Monday, seen by MediaGuardian. He added that the FT needed to be “reshaped for the digital age”.
Barber said: “We need to ensure that we are serving a digital platform first, and a newspaper second. This is a big cultural shift for the FT that is only likely to be achieved with further structural change.”
He added the FT would only survive if it adapts to the demands of readers in digital and in print. Technology companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Twitter are routinely disrupting the business models of old titles.
“It would be reckless for us to stand still. Of course, we must stick to the tested practices of good journalism: deep and original reporting based on multiple sources and a sharp eye for the scoop,” Barber said.
“But we must also recognise that the internet offers new avenues and platforms for the richer delivery and sharing of information. We are moving from a news business to a networked business.”
Barber said his trip to Silicon Valley in September “confirmed the speed of change” in the media, as he detailed eight proposals aimed at shifting the newspaper’s resources from print to digital.