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Financial Times strengthens digital focus with four senior appointments

Includes Renée Kaplan in new role as head of audience engagement

The Financial Times today announces the appointment of Renée Kaplan in the newly created role of head of audience engagement, Bede McCarthy (@bedemccarthy) as director of product, Mark Alderson as head of operations for the newsroom, and Kevin Wilson as visual news editor.

With digital subscriptions growing 21% year on year to account for 70% of the FT’s total circulation, these roles will focus on enhancing the FT’s digital products and services and offering readers more opportunity to consume and engage with FT journalism.

FT CEO John Ridding said: “The FT is in strong shape with robust growth in profits year on year and a record high circulation of 720,000. In 2015, we will maintain momentum by increasing our focus on making the FT a habit for new readers and subscribers. Renée, Bede, Mark and Kevin will play instrumental roles in driving this effort through a range of initiatives including a new FT.com.”

Renee Kaplan joins from Havas Worldwide where she is currently chief content officer. She is a former editorial director for France 24 and producer at CNN, CBS News and PBS. Kaplan is also a lecturer at the American University of Paris and Sciences-Po Paris. She is also a published author of fiction and nonfiction books. She will take up the post in May.

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber said: “Renée is an experienced digital strategist with a strong background in content production and distribution. She will oversee an expanded audience engagement program and team responsible for developing new approaches to promoting FT journalism and deepening our relationship with readers and subscribers.”

Bede McCarthy has been with the FT since 2004 in editorial and product management roles, including technology correspondent and executive editor of FT.com. He worked on the FT’s first mobile apps, including the award-winning web app, and has been running the Strategic Products team since 2013. In his new role McCarthy will oversee management of all FT products including the development of FT.com and other major priorities, effective immediately.

Mark Alderson joined the FT as a news sub-editor in 1998 and has since held various roles including production editor of FT Money and executive editor of FT Weekend. In 2010 he was appointed chief production editor which involved working closely with technology teams to deliver improved workflows and deeper print/digital integration in the newsroom. In his new role Mark will continue working with technology and product teams to provide better tools and processes for the digital newsroom, and deliver the redesigned FT.com.

Kevin Wilson has been with the FT since 2008, when he started as head of design and graphics. During that time he has overseen the expansion in infographics and visual storytelling in print and online, winning national and international awards. Last year he led the refresh of the weekday and weekend print editions of the newspaper. In his new role he will lead a reshaped visual department, concentrating on the digital channels.

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For more information contact:

Emily Gibbs
+44 (0) 207 873 3184

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