FT getting silly with Nikkei deal

Edith Hancock
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UNSURPRISINGLY, it was a slow morning at the Financial Times’ office yesterday. While FT owners Pearson were deep in talks with international publishing houses Axel Springer and Nikkei over selling the rag, hacks took the opportunity to cause some minor mayhem in the financial world.

The FT’s Alphaville is usually a useful tool for opening up debate on current markets. This time the live-blog fell silent after journalists Paul Murphy, Dan McCrum, Bryce Elder and Joseph Cotterill realised no one was working. Alphaville founder Paul Murphy tried to get things going with a rousing battle cry: “Come on rabble!”. It was all downhill from there after. McCrum gave his hot take, saying it was “fair to assume productive work is on hold in the newsroom for the moment”.

Bloggers instead speculated wildly on the identity of their new overlords and the state of Murphy’s garden, which apparently suffered a gas leak that morning. Talk didn’t get too lairy though, after Bryce Elder pointed out: “Every City diarist will currently be reading our waffle, so perhaps we shouldn’t be gifting them too much material.” Too late…

Meanwhile on Twitter, beloved FT columnist John Gapper was left shaking in his boots around midday when he remembered calling Mathias Dopfner of Axel Springer a Lilliputian who was jealous of Google. Fortunately for Gapper, the German publisher lost out to Japanese media firm Nikkei, shelling out £884m for the paper. Not so fortunately, playtime in Southwark is over. *sigh*

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