Guardian staff warned to expect more redundancies due to 'seismic changes in our industry'

Guardian staff have been told to “anticipate” further redundancies in the UK as the publisher looks to carry out fresh cuts under its three-year plan to turn its finances around.

An email to staff today from editor Katherine Viner and chief executive David Pemsel, seen by Press Gazette, outlined expectations for year two of the plan, which came in to effect in January last year.

The pair said financial objectives for year one of the plan had been “successfully met” with losses reduced “just ahead of target” and cash outgoings also reduced.

So far the Guardian has cut 250 staff, reduced is US operations and signed up more than 200,000 paying members along with 160,000 one-off contributions.

Last month it emerged the publisher was on course to spend a further £90m of its cash savings by the end of the financial year in April.

In the year to the end of March 2016, Guardian Media Group reported a trading loss of £68.7m on turnover of £209.5m leaving £765m in the bank at that point.

Viner and Pemsel told staff today: “Our operating costs remain too high, trading conditions remain tough, and further changes and cost savings will be necessary if we are to meet our target of breaking even at an operating level by 2018/19.

“We will therefore continue to identify cost savings and efficiencies in year two of our plan. Over the course of the next year we anticipate this will lead to some redundancies in the UK and any such proposals will be discussed within the relevant departments.

“We will also close vacant roles across the business, and we will continue to closely manage all recruitment.”

The Guardian said its three-year plan was a “response to seismic changes in our industry, not least the shift of new and existing print and digital advertising revenues towards Google and Facebook”.

Viner and Pemsel said of the further cuts: “These are never easy decisions, but they are necessary to ensure a sustainable foundation from which to grow and serve our readers with our journalism…

“We continue to investigate all other ways to make the UK business more efficient, and we are confident that our three year plan is on track and will enable us to continue to invest in world-class journalism for the long-term.”

A quarterly strategic and financial update is expected from the company on 27 April.

Picture: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Comments

2 thoughts on “Guardian staff warned to expect more redundancies due to 'seismic changes in our industry'”

  1. For crying out loud Katherine Viner, stop panhandling readers for donations, regain some sense of dignity at the paper and start believing in the value of the content by erecting a paywall.

  2. A few years back the Guardian leapt into the digital future thinking the ads would easily move across online to pay for its expanded staff. Unfortunately, those ads aren’t materialising online for anyone (except Google and Amazon).
    Let’s hope they sort things out before the £1billion pot of money runs out…

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