Peter Martin, deputy editor of the Financial Times newspaper and one of Europe's leading technology and e-commerce commentators, has been appointed to the new role of editorial director of the FT's Internet activities.
He will remain as deputy editor, working with Richard Lambert, the editor of the Financial Times, to oversee the creation of an integrated editorial team to provide content for both the FT newspaper and its websites.
Mr Martin will have overall responsibility for overseeing the editorial development of the FT's Internet activities. His new role will focus initially on three core areas: leading editorial development; forging partnerships with other content partners; and continuing the recruitment of new journalists.
The new editorial staff will strengthen the FT's specialist reporting resources and allow ft.com to carry more original content, with faster updating and a wide range of focussed pages. Paul Maidment will continue in his role as editor of ft.com, with day-to-day responsibility for the development and content of the site.
Stephen Hill, chief executive of the Financial Times group, said:
"The Financial Times' competitive advantage lies in the quality of our comment and analysis backed by our unparalleled international resources and editorial coverage. This is true whether we publish in print or on the web. The internet gives us an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate the growth of both the Financial Times and ft.com. I am very pleased that Peter will now lead the editorial effort required to develop ft.com into a global business portal, and, with Richard, create a superb integrated editorial team."
Commenting on his appointment, Peter Martin said:
"ft.com has already become one of the world's leading business websites. Now we are creating one of the first fully integrated newsrooms. This gives us the opportunity to bring original FT reporting and analysis to a wider audience in a more timely fashion."
Peter Martin is 51. He started in journalism at ITN, then worked for The Economist, before joining the Financial Times in 1988. He led the editorial planning for the international expansion of the paper in Europe and North America. His weekly column, which has frequently focused on the implications of the Internet for business, won him the 1998 Wincott award for financial journalism, the UK's top business journalism prize.
ft.com is the world's leading international business web site. In the last year, traffic to ft.com has increased by 123% to 12.7m page views per month and the number of monthly unique visitors to the site has increased over the same period by 234% to 650,000. In the UK, it generates more advertising revenue than any other site. Its unparalleled news, comment and analysis are combined with unique research and data to create a truly powerful utility for business people. ft.com is free to users and does not require them to register, except for certain high-value services such as the portfolio share monitoring service and the Global Archive, a searchable database of five million articles from 3,000 international publications.
In 1999, as part of Pearson plc's commitment to invest around £120m across the company in internet projects, the Financial Times group is investing some £40m to develop ft.com as a global business portal.
Along with ft.com, Pearson's business Internet projects include lesechos.fr and recoletos.es/expansion, which are the leading business websites in France and Spain. Later this year the group will launch a new German language business website ahead of the publication next year of a new business newspaper for Germany.
In addition to The Financial Times, Les Echos and Expansion newspapers, The Financial Times Group includes Financial Times Asset Management, Financial Times Electronic Publishing, Financial Times Business, and 50% shares in FTSE International, AFX News and Business Day. Pearson plc, the international media company, also owns Pearson Television, Penguin Books and Pearson Education.
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