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FT purchases Money-Media.com

The Financial Times (FT) acquired online news site Money-Media late last week.

Money-Media, a New York-based company that caters to the global fund management industry, provides news and analysis online. It also offers conferences for investment managers and company directors through ODX and owns JobBlast, an online job listing service.

“Where we sit in London, we don’t see the FT as a British paper anymore but as a global publishing outfit,” said Mark Cunnington, financial publishing director at the Financial Times. He will become managing editor of Money-Media once the acquisition is completed.

“We’re obviously investing fairly heavily in our digital and online assets,” he continued. “Fund managers and board directors are a key customer base for us from a readership point of view and an advertising point of view.”

The purchase expands the FT’s coverage of the fund management industry — already supported by weekly global supplement FTfm. Money-Media joins FT’s growing stable of online holdings, which took on the recruiting Web site Exec-Appointments in October.

The acquisition aligns with FT’s strategy to increase paid subscriptions. Roughly 2/3 of Money-Media’s revenues derive from paying readers. FT.com has 100,000 subscribers who pay for regular access to the site, though readers of fewer than 30 articles a month can access the site for free.

“Subscriptions are great for loyalty, for knowing who your readers are, and also for cash flow,” explained Cunnington. “Money-Media has a very interesting model where they have corporate subscribers rather than individual subscribers.”

FT’s sales team is currently redeveloping its own corporate subscription model.

Cunnington said that, because Money-Media is already well established in the US, FT will not be performing many editorial tweaks. However, he does foresee possible content-sharing opportunities between the site and FTfm in the US. Expansion of Money-Media content across Europe and Asia is also an option.

With the exception of founder and chief executive Michael Griffin, the entire Money-Media staff will remain with the site.

Following the acquisition, Pearson, FT’s parent company, raised the price of the newspaper. Pearson cited rising costs and investment in international news coverage as the reason behind the 20p price hike.

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