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The Financial Times Germany will publish its last edition on Dec. 7, sources say. (WOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS)
The Financial Times Germany will publish its last edition on Dec. 7, sources say. (WOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS)

Financial Times Deutschland set to close Add to ...

German business daily Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) will publish its last edition on Dec. 7 when owner Gruner + Jahr (G+J) shuts it down, two sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The FTD, salmon pink like its British namesake, launched as a joint venture with Financial Times publisher Pearson in 2000 and shook up the German print landscape with a modern design and international perspective.

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But it never made money and finally succumbed to sliding advertising revenues in Germany.

Some 330 employees will lose their jobs, said the sources who are familiar with the decisions of the publisher.

G+J, controlled by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, has earmarked €40-million ($51.3-million Canadian) in closure costs, the sources said.

G+J, which bought out Pearson’s 50-per-cent stake in 2008, declined to comment on details of the plans, although the board had been widely expected to announce the closure on Wednesday.

A spokesman said the supervisory board had given the management board authority to go ahead with a sale, partial sale or closure. Final talks about a sale were in progress and a final decision was due soon.

But one of the sources said that talks were not about a sale of the paper but of its subscriber base of around 41,600.

Workers will be given more information on Friday morning, a spokesman for the publisher later said.

The looming closure is the latest blow for Germany’s newspaper industry which had been shielded by its decentralized nature that draws on regional loyalties and the country’s relative economic strength in the euro zone crisis.

But advertising income for German newspapers is on the slide, falling 6 per cent in the first 10 months of this year from 2011, according to data from Nielsen Media research.

FTD has a circulation of around 100,000. German media said it booked a loss of €10-million last year. Accumulated losses since 2000 are estimated at €250-million.

Last week, the Frankfurter Rundschau, a liberal daily based in Germany’s financial capital filed for bankruptcy and the DAPD press agency, whose clients were mainly newspapers, took a similar step a few weeks earlier.

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