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Media cutbacks

Guardian cutting 180 jobs in face of mounting losses

The Guardian

The Guardian is facing cuts across various departments

Guardian Media Group is cutting 180 jobs, or 12% of its workforce, to avoid “unsustainable losses” in the years ahead.

It told staff it expects 70 journalists to be axed. It currently employs 1,495 staff of whom 869 work in editorial and production.

Most of the other job cuts will be in advertising, Guardian Jobs, marketing and Guardian Live.

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and chief executive Annette Thomas said the company had been hit hard since March.

In a statement to staff they said: “We have already identified many millions of pounds of cost savings over the past few months, which include deferring the company-wide pay rise, placing around 100 colleagues’ roles on furlough, reducing the size of the executive committee, reducing the use of casual staff, and making major reductions in our marketing, travel and other budgets across the organisation.

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“Even after taking these measures into account though, we face unsustainable annual losses in future years unless we take decisive action.

“It is clear that we will need to make significant cost savings, and change the way we work, and we are sorry to tell you that this will mean that there will be job losses over the coming months.”

The news came alongside results for the 12 months to 29 March showing a pre-tax loss of £36.8m against a pre-tax profit of £31m the previous year. Revenue was broadly flat at £223.5 million against £224.5m in 2019.

The company said “good growth” in its subscription and contribution reader revenues had offset declines in advertising and newsstand revenues, both trends which were exacerbated further in March.

Digital made up 57% of revenue after flatlining at £125.9m against £125.3m in the year before.

The results reveal that Ms Viner’s total pay and benefits for the last financial year were £391,000.

It had more than 790,000 recurring monthly supporters at 29 March and received an additional 340,000 one-off contributions in the previous 12 months taking it over the 1m supporter mark for the year.

Outgoing chief executive David Pemsel received a pay-off of £184,275 when he left the company on 2 December last year. His successor, Annette Thomas, has the same salary: £630,000.

These cuts follow similar announcements at media companies including the Newsquest (owner of the Herald and Times) and Reach (owner of the Daily Record, Mirror and Express titles).

Neil axed as BBC increases job cuts

The Andrew Neil Show has been axed as the BBC’s restructure will now mean more than 500 jobs will be cut.

A plan to cut 450 jobs, announced in January, has been revised and a further 70 jobs will be lost. They will include senior management.

The Andrew Neil Show, which only launched last September 2019, will not return and is the latest current affairs victim following cancellation of the Victoria Derbyshire Show earlier this year.

Business coverage will be more integrated with the wider output and there will no longer be separate business bulletins on the BBC News Channel or World Service English, and the Business Online page will go. BBC Radio 4’s In Business will also close.

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