Kelvin MacKenzie has had a pop at Guardian Media Group in his column saying: “These are the same creeps who employ elderly has-beens like Peter Preston to explain in detail the failings of their competitors when they know nothing about commercial success, having never even been close to it in their own company.”
He is commenting on reports that GMG is on course to lose around about the £90m figure again this year, “taking them quite close to going bust”. And condemning the editors of The Guardian and Observer as “overpaid dimwits” he says: “Preston is part of the gang that is sending this company towards the bankruptcy courts. The journalists should rise up and remove this old guard before it removes them.”
Press Gazette understands that the headline GMG losses figure for the year to the end of March this year will be in line with those for the same period last year – when GMG lost £89.8m and and Guardian News and Media lost £36.8m.
But the operating profit/loss figure is expected to be an improvement on last year, with gains being cancelled out by a write-down in the value of assets.
Fortunately for Guardian journalists, GMG has enough cash in the bank (around £200m) for any imminent talk of bankruptcy to be premature. But recent print sales losses will be a cause for concern. As MacKenzie notes in his column , Guardian print sales were down 17 per cent year on year in March and The Observer was down 23 per cent.
But as Guardian MD Tim Brooks pointed out today, losses at Kelvin’s up-market sister titles The Times and Sunday Times are far higher than those at GNM. It should probably also be noted that Kelvin’s own business career at Talksport was a less then illustrious one.
GMG is not due to release its figures until the end of July.