Groom: no room for complacency
Financial Times political editor Brian Groom is to be the new editor of the newspaper’s print and online edition for Continental Europe.
He replaces Lionel Barber, now editor of FT’s US edition. Groom will take up the position in July.
An old FT hand – he was there for a decade before becoming deputy and then editor of Scotland on Sunday between 1988 and 1994 – Groom, 46, was a sub-editor on the European edition at launch.
"It has come a long way since then," he said. He plans to spend just one or two days in London and the rest at a desk in Brussels or visiting the other European offices, the biggest of which are Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin.
He will have 40 correspondents and super stringers, plus the commercial side of the edition to deal with, and plans a "period of intense listening" as his first task. There are already plans in train, he said, for developing the edition and he has broad aims for it, but he intends to find out what the staff and readers want first.
It will certainly involve closer communication between bureaux, specialists in London and on other continents. As well as first-class European coverage, Groom is anxious to know how much coverage readers in Europe want of business in the US, Japan and the UK.
The post of European edition editor was created three years ago by previous editor Richard Lambert. Groom was the FT’s regional affairs editor before becoming political editor two years ago. As the political team is changing, he intends to spend his last months in the job ensuring a smooth takeover for his successor. His job is already being advertised internally.
FT editor Andrew Gowers said: "Brian is an outstanding journalist who has extensive experience in covering political, social and economic issues. With his wide newspaper experience, he is brilliantly placed further to expand the FT’s position as an essential read for business people across Europe."
Since the FT launched its European edition in 1979, circulation has grown to 155,000 copies a day and it now claims to be Europe’s leading business daily. Groom is determined the edition will not become complacent.