FT Business staff warned of job cuts after shake-up

FT Business is to split into three ‘clusters’

Journalists working on B2B titles at FT Business have been warned they could lose their jobs as a result of a restructure designed to cut costs.

The move has resulted in two senior departures and the creation of three new publishing director posts while journalists have entered a period of consultation which could lead to 15 redundancies.

FT Business – the magazines division of the Financial Times group – has been split into three "clusters". Neil O’Brien, publishing director of the whole FT Business, and advertising director Jane Emma Peerless are leaving the company as a result.

The post of personal finance editor on Investors Chronicle has also been made redundant.

Caspar de Bono has been named publishing director of personal finance, taking control of Investors Chronicle and FT Expat.

Mark Cunnington has been appointed retail publishing director in charge of Money Management, Financial Adviser and Investment Adviser.

Angus Cushley has become institutional publishing director with responsibility for The Banker, European Pensions & Investment News, Pensions Week, Pensions Management and Financial Times Mandate.

An FT spokeswoman said journalists had been warned of potential job cuts by their managers late last week.

But staff are not expected to find out whether or not their jobs are safe until next month.

"As a result of the restructure, there are likely to be some redundancies. Editorial will be touched by the restructure but it will mainly affect advertising and marketing people," she told Press Gazette.

The cuts come less than two months after the resignation of FT chief executive Stephen Hill, who quit after a failed buyout of FT Business. Incisive Media was also in the running before talks collapsed.

A source said this week that staff at FT Business had anticipated some lay-offs to make the business more saleable.

"We knew they were going to do a review of profitability and the magazines’ business plans but people are a bit cushioned as a result of not being sold. These cuts are unfortunate, distressing and sad but when you’ve been sitting on the edge of a precipice, demoralised for six months, you just think ‘at least we’re still around’," the source said.

It is understood that a number of vacant posts have also been targeted for redundancy and sources say there was concern among some staff about extra workload. NUJ representatives met FT management before the announcement to get the consultation period underway.

An NUJ spokesperson said: "FT Business has worked 100 per cent in terms of the 30 day consultation period. They are being fair as far as union agreements are concerned."

By Ruth Addicott

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