Blog Post

Earnings: Pearson Now Veering Away From Opening FT.com

Pearson is reconsidering opening access to FT.com after all, the company’s CEO Dame Marjorie Scardino said during Monday’s annual earnings report. According to the Guardian, she attributed the change to the mass of information and opinion online: “As debate online has become more diffuse – hundreds of thousands or millions of voices on each topic – it has become less helpful in a way. The trend now online seems to be some sort of mediation and we think we might have a role there.” Last summer, she expressed a different concern — that the fee was keeping the FT walled off from the rest of online. Now, she calls FT.com’s 90,000 subscribers a “rarefied audience” with many willing to take part in discussion within the walled garden.
— FT and FT.com sales rose 8 percent to 238 million pounds with an eye-catching profit of 11 million pounds up from 2 million pounds last year. up
— FT.com paying subs were up 7 percent to 90,000 and the December audience rose 29 percent to 4.2 million.
Scardino’s plans: Scardino, who has headed Pearson for a decade and recently turned 60, avoided direct answers to questions about her own future and that of the FT, rumored at times to be for sale. MediaGuardian has more details.
Earnings release | Webcasts/Interview videos | Slides