50 jobs to go as FT plans 'one of the most advanced newsrooms in the world'

The Financial Times is to cut a further 10 per cent of its editorial workforce, the title's third major cost-cutting exercise in the last five years.

A 30-day consultation on redundancies began on Tuesday, a move which has been condemned by the NUJ as a fait accompli.

An NUJ statement said: "You cannot keep cutting staff and not see an impact on the product — or on stress levels among already overstretched staff."

But FT editor Lionel Barber said the job cuts were part of a plan to create "one of the most integrated multimedia newsrooms in the world".

The Financial Times employs around 500 editorial staff worldwide — of which some 320 are reporters and subeditors.

It is expected that many of the 50 redundancies are to come from the subbing departments.

The job cuts are part of the FT's ongoing integration of its online and print reporting, editing and production processes. This will include the creation of a single, integrated newsdesk for print and online. A new production system is to integrate the production of web and newspaper stories.

Barber said: "Our plans will help us to create an editorial organisation fully equipped to meet the challenge of the digital age. The plans will shape the news operation into one of the most advanced multimedia newsrooms in the world."

In February, the FT revealed that it was ending its three-year freeze on hiring new editorial staff as it moved back into the black for the first time since 2001.

In 2005, the FT made a modest profit of £2 million on turnover of £221 million, compared with a £9 million loss in 2004, a £32 million loss in 2003 and a £23 million loss in 2002.

The latest round of redundancies is the third such programme at the FT since 2001.

The two previous cost-cutting exercises resulted in a total of 50 journalists leaving the company.

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