FT Deutschland skips online-only, closes entirely

Four years after it was divorced from the Financial Times, FT Deutschland will close in December, leaving 258 staff affected after its publisher failed to find a buyer.

Publisher Gruner + Jahr’s CEO Julia Jäkel says (via announcement): “Newspapers are under pressure, especially in the economic sector. With these losses … we see no way to operate FT Deutschland further.”

FTD was half-owned by Pearson’s Financial Times Group until 2008, then it was passed entirely to Gruner + Jahr.

Its closure is apparently having an impact wider than just FTD

Wall Street Journal has published in German online for nearly a year now. But the title which gave FTD its name does not seem ready to take up the opportunity — a spokesperson for Pearson’s Financial Times in London tells paidContent: “FT.com doesn’t publish in German and has no future plans to do so.”

Spiegel reports Gruner + Jahr had no success in integrating FTD with its business magazines. Although circulation has been steady this year, it has fallen hard in the last decade and has clocked up €250 million in losses over the period, Spiegel says.

Now the sister magazines Exchange Online and Impulse are up for sale, though counterpart Capital is being retained and repositioned.

Gruner + Jahr says it tried in vain to find a buyer for FTD and had considered its continuation online-only, but: “After extensive testing, it was seen to have no chance of success.”