LONDON — The Financial Times plans to merge its newspaper and online editorial desks, a move that could lead to the layoff of around fifty staff, according to owner Pearson.

The company says it will create single newspaper/web news desks, an interactive content team and a production structure aimed at integrating print and online publishing.

The FT is now entering a 30-day consultation period with the National Union of Journalists aimed at keeping layoffs to a minimum, and voluntary retirement will be offered.