Loss-making daily Financial Times Deutschland, launched 12 years ago as the German-language sister of the Financial Times, blacked out its front page Friday to mark its last day of publication.
“Black at last,” said the ‘in mourning’-coloured front page in an ironic allusion to the profits the daily — printed on the same salmon-pink paper as the iconic British newspaper — never managed to make in the 12 years of its existence.
The header was also changed, dropping letters from the word “financial” so that the newspaper’s title read as “Final Times Deutschland”.
And the black humour continued through to the back page, too, where all of the newspaper’s staff were pictured bowing their heads in mock hara-kiri style penitence.
In the ironic caption below, the newspaper’s bosses “apologised” to FTD’s shareholders “for burning so many of your millions”; to its advertising customers for “being so critical in our reporting about your companies”; to company spokesmen “for not following your suggestions about the wording of our articles”; and to politicians “for not believing you enough”.
But the FTD’s makers insisted: “If we had to start all over again, we’d do exactly the same again.”
The advertisers joined in, too.
The German publicly owned regional bank, Helaba, bought an entire page to say that “from tomorrow, the economy will unfortunately be a little less colourful.”
The Financial Times Deutschland was launched in 2000 by a joint venture between German publisher Gruner+Jahr, a subsidiary of media giant Bertelsmann, and British newspaper group Pearson, which owns the FT.
Gruner+Jahr bought Pearson’s stake in 2008 to become the sole owner.
But it announced at the end of November that it would close down the daily, which has a circulation of around 100,000, because of its continual losses since its creation.
The publisher is also closing down other titles such as “Boerse Online” and “Impulse”.