Rivka Nachoma, the U.S. assistant managing editor of the Financial Times, has retired after an unbroken 40-year run as the lynchpin of the FT’s U.S. operation.
She joined the paper as a researcher in 1979 when it had just three reporters in New York and almost as many support staff and played a central role in its subsequent expansion.
Over the following decades, she was a right-hand woman for FT editors from Sir Richard Lambert to Lionel Barber, for Chrystia Freeland (now Canada’s minister of foreign affairs) and for Robert Thomson and Will Lewis (now the CEOs of News Corp. and Dow Jones, respectively).
Martin Dickson, former U.S. managing editor for the Financial Times, wrote on Twitter: “Wonderful Rivka, the heart, soul and memory of the FT’s New York office for four decades. Have a wonderful retirement.”
Nachoma bought the FT’s first computer (an IBM XT), organized the arrivals and departures of generations of FT journalists and kept a firm hand on expenses through boom times and leaner years, always keen to ensure there was enough slack in the budget for essential travel so reporters could cover the stories that mattered.
Colleagues sent her off with an affectionate toast in the New York newsroom on Monday. As well as the usual leaving page, they presented her with a “Lunch with the FT”-style tribute.