The news organisations have taken the step together because of the growing importance of the global energy transition story, which is shaking up the oil and gas giants based in the US energy capital and spurring investment in new technologies across Texas.
The Financial Times has appointed energy veteran Justin Jacobs as its Houston correspondent. Jacobs, who joined the FT’s natural resources team in late 2020, joins a growing team headed by New York-based US energy editor Derek Brower, who has relaunched the FT’s Energy Source newsletter and expanded its industry coverage.
Nikkei has appointed Ryosuke Hanafusa as Houston bureau chief to expand the Japanese publisher’s coverage of the sector and the American economy more broadly. Hanafusa was previously energy editor at The Nikkei in Tokyo and earlier served as a correspondent in Cairo and Istanbul.
We have a shared ambition to grow our audiences in the US, where 30 percent of the FT’s global readership is based.John Ridding
The opening of a joint bureau in Houston is a major step in both the FT and Nikkei’s complementary US expansion plans, centred on covering the global sectors where American companies are dominant players. The publishers, which entered a partnership when Nikkei acquired the FT in 2015, have each seen their US readership rise substantially, says the FT.
Peter Spiegel, US managing editor of the FT, said: “Americans have shown up to read FT stories in record numbers over the last year, helping us set two all-time traffic highs for FT.com. There’s clearly a growing appetite for FT content out of the US - both among our American and non-American audience - and having a physical presence in Houston will bring us even closer to the big energy stories that our readers want.”
Hiroshi Toyofuku, editor-in-chief, Americas at The Nikkei, said: “Our new bureau in Houston will provide our readers with greater insight into the energy sector and other unique aspects of the American economy, politics and culture. As the world starts to emerge from the pandemic, this is an interesting time to delve deeper into the dynamic changes taking place in the south.”
John Ridding, CEO of the FT, said: “We are excited to open our first joint bureau with Nikkei, as we develop our partnership and align our brands more closely. We have a shared ambition to grow our audiences in the US, where 30 percent of the FT’s global readership is based, and Houston is an obvious place to position ourselves to capture a big, globally relevant story.”
Tsuyoshi Hasebe, President and CEO of Nikkei, said: “The opening of the joint bureau in Houston is testament to the strength of the Nikkei-FT partnership. Together, we will continue to expand our global network of journalists to deliver even greater value to our readers.”
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