Is the Financial Times a good newspaper

Financial Times: Bought influence


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Newspapers are selling well right now. Last week, the Japanese media group Nikkei, publisher of the business newspaper of the same name, paid the equivalent of 1.2 billion euros for the British Financial Times. The sum is roughly 44 times the annual profit of the FT and 16 times the net income of Nikkei Inc .

That makes FT after all, handsome profits. This has not been important to all buyers of prestigious titles in the recent past. For the Dow Jones publishing house, for example, to which the renowned Wall Street Journal heard, the Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch paid $ 5.6 billion in 2007. The newspaper posted losses that same year. Two years ago, Jeff Bezos, founder and head of the online mail order company Amazon, bought the less profitable one Washington Post for $ 250 million.

Many newspaper companies fear for their economic future in the face of falling circulation and advertising revenues in the print business. Rich entrepreneurs and corporations, on the other hand, invest in well-known and globally relevant newspapers, even if they do not look very promising economically. Voices of the world like that Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times are more to them than profit machines. They are beacons in digital noise. Intellectual toy.

The Berlin-based Axel Springer Verlag would also be happy to (Picture, the world) the FT accepted. At the next Christmas party there would be guaranteed good German beer, the Springer bosses were already on their way to London to sign the contracts with the owner Pearson, the journalists shouted to each other through the corridors of the editorial team on Thursday afternoon. In the afternoon they were surprised when Nikkei got the job.

The "Financial Times" is a pioneer in profitable online business

The Nikkei- Employees in Tokyo learned of the purchase from Japanese competition. "Can we do that FT an editor wanted to know a day later at the official announcement by the management. For him and the others there were no more luxury hotels and business class flights because of the steadily falling circulation of their own paper. "If we don't could afford if we hadn't bought it, "was the reply.

Managing director Naotoshi Okada and the other executives proudly walked down the hall of the open-plan office in central Tokyo because they had bought such a big brand, say employees. With a circulation of just under three million copies is Nikkei the largest daily business newspaper in the world and known internationally as the namesake for the leading Tokyo stock index.

So far, Japan has been something of a land of milk and honey for newspaper makers: the largest daily newspaper in the world, Yomiuri Shimbun, appears there with a daily circulation of nine million copies. Demographics also mean well with publishers. Japanese society is an old society and the elderly are loyal customers: more than 90 percent of all Japanese people over 50 read newspapers every day.

Nikkei does not want to rely on that for the future. The birth rate in Japan has been low for years. That is why the management has been looking for investment opportunities abroad for a long time. Last September, the group bought itself from the British Jetsetter magazine Monocle a. With the FT and their successful online strategy, Nikkei has now acquired "a piece of the learning curve," says an industry expert. So a piece of the future.

The FT has so far taken the path into the digital age more successfully than most of its competitors. In 1888 it started to cover the financial affairs in the City of London on four pages, today it is the most successful global daily newspaper and shows how money can be made online. Since 2013, she has been profitable even without the post of advertising income and only through the sale, says Lorna Tilbian, the top media specialist at the investment bank Numis Securities. The sold circulation of the print edition is around 220,000 copies per day, and more than half a million readers pay for the online subscription.


The Washington Post

In 2013, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the as a private individual for 250 million US dollars Washington Post. It is the oldest and largest daily newspaper in the US capital.

Le Figaro

The second largest newspaper in France, Le Figaro, Has belonged to the Dassault Group since 2004 and is headed by the defense contractor Serge Dassault.

Financial Times

Nikkei Inc. there Nihon Keizai Shimbun, short Nikkei, out, the business newspaper with the highest circulation in the world. Now the group has the Financial Times Bought.


The Axel-Springer-Verlag belong among others The world,picture and B.Z. The company is also behind the European edition of Politico.

The Sun

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has been on a shopping spree for some time. Among the publications are The Sun and The Times, since 2007 that too Wall Street Journal.

In the past, industrial nobility earned themselves titles, now newspapers

The FT would therefore have been a good fit for Springer-Verlag, which relies on digital business more radically than almost any other German media company. Only last year did he sell the majority of the regional newspapers he had built up over decades. Also researched picture-Chef Kai Diekmann and other big and small Springer managers in Silicon Valley to explore the future of journalism and other ways to make money online. "With the FT Springer would have become even more visible globally, "says media researcher Jo Groebel from the Business School Berlin. And an industry insider who knows Springer well says: Die FT is a pearl that the company would have liked to have. Also because of their reputation. In the end, the purchase price was too high.

For CEO Mathias Döpfner, the broken deal is a defeat, Springer had invested a lot of time in the negotiations. With all the investments in start-ups, he continues to enjoy cultivating his image as a publisher. After Amazon boss Jeff Bezos the Washington Post the Springer boss said: "For 188 million I would have gladly taken it." It was meant as a joke. But maybe there was also some truth in it. After all, the group did with the American political magazine Politico in the past year Politico Europe founded.

While Springer is a publishing house that would also like to become a large Internet company, newspapers are more of a marginal business for other investors, although it is not always clear whether they even buy the papers to make money.