Twenty Financial Times editorial employees are leaving -- a 3% cut in the company’s 600-person global headcount.
“There are no layoffs,” FT spokesperson Christopher Chafin told Publishers Daily.
Instead, he said this reduction in headcount is part of “natural attrition,” which includes “a handful of voluntary redundancies, combined with redeployments into new digital jobs as reader habits change.”
Chafin said more than a dozen editorial jobs were added at Financial Times in 2016. “Our growth strategy is focused on developing new editorial products and further investing in the deep, data-rich, original reporting and commentary that is driving subscriptions and reader engagement,” he said.
According to Bloomberg, Financial Times is trying to reduce its dependence on ads and focus on growing subscription revenues. Around 60% of FT’s revenue is now derived from subscriptions and 40% from advertising.
Since Japan’s Nikkei Inc. bought the paper in 2015 from Pearson PLC for $1.3 billion, digital subscribers have increased by 17%.
The financial news publisher aims to reach 1 million print and digital readers by 2020, up from about 850,000 today, 625,000 of which are digital subscribers.
In November, CEO John Ridding told Bloomberg the London-based publisher is interested in acquiring companies to “support and accelerate” its digital subscription, as well as business technology firms with data analytics capabilities to help target readers with advertising and subscription offers.
Ridding told Bloomberg the FT has “a number of opportunities in the acquisition zone on the radar."
FT's staff reduction is unlike the sweeping cuts that hit the North Jersey Media Group in January and Univision in November, for example, as well as an impending round of layoffs at The New York Times.