Guardian to cut 180 jobs as it fights against £25 million loss forecast
The Guardian is the latest newspaper to announce job cuts in both editorial and commercial roles, as the fallout from the coronavirus crisis continues to impact the media industry.
Writing online yesterday, The Guardian’s media editor, Jim Waterson, reported that the proposals could affect up to 180 jobs – 110 in departments such as advertising, Guardian Jobs, marketing roles, and the Guardian Live events business, with 70 coming from editorial.
Editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and the Guardian Media Group chief executive, Annette Thomas, issued a joint statement to staff, saying that the pandemic had created an “unsustainable financial outlook for the Guardian” with more than £25 million wiped off the publisher’s forecast revenues for the year ahead.
Speaking at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival in 2018, Viner had heralded the three-year financial turnaround of Guardian Media Group - from losses of £57million in 2015 to losses of only £19million in 2017. By 2019 the publisher had broken even.
Now however, Viner and Thomas admit that the company is facing a return to “unsustainable annual losses in future years unless we take decisive action” to reduce costs.
The news came as Guardian Media Group published its financial results for the 12 months to 29 March.
Revenue was down 0.4% from £224.5 million in 2019 to £223.5 million as the company said “good growth” in its subscription and contribution reader revenues had offset declines in advertising and newsstand revenues.
Prior to the UK lockdown, the Guardian had over 790,000 regular paying supporters, and had received an additional 340,000 one-off contributions in the previous twelve months, taking total supporter numbers to over one million.
Digital made up 56% of total revenues after growing slightly from £125.3 million the year before to £125.9 million.
Earlier this year, Reach, publisher of the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and many regional titles, announced plans to cut 550 jobs or 12 per cent of the workforce.