FT Launching Premium Online Exec Forums; Includes FT.com Subs and Conferences

Certainly among the costliest social networking services to launch till date: The Financial Times is launching a £1,700-a-year (about $3,350) membership for one of three new networking sites…the service, called FT Executive Membership Forums will allow execs to “maintain contact with peers and luminaries … and to stay in touch with the key issues facing fellow members”. There will be forums for technology and media executives, for CEOs and for execs from luxury industries. The cost includes free subscription to FT.com, admission to any of the FT’s conferences, 20 percent off further tickets, face-to-face members’ events and a 12-month FT.com sub. The forum sites are expected to take advertising.

After earlier toying with an aborted “social networking” approach to philanthropy and progressive causes, Pearson’s (NYSE: PSO) The Economist is also thought to be keen to enter the fray again.