LONDON — Guardian News and Media, publisher of The Guardian newspaper, has revealed plans to cut 50 million pounds, or $71 million, in costs in an effort to break even in three years and sustain future growth.
According to the newspaper, yearly operating costs have risen 23 percent to 268 million pounds, or $382 million, over the past five years, compared with a 10 percent growth in revenues. The organization blamed “slow digital revenues and print advertising,” which fell by 25 percent in the period. The company also incurred costs from its recent expansion into the U.S. and Australia.
“Over the next three years, a growing and far deeper set of relationships with our audience will result in a re-imagining of our journalism, a sustainable business model, and a newly-focused digital organization that reflects our independence and our mission,” said editor-in-chief Katharine Viner.
Viner and chief executive officer David Pemsel have developed a new strategy for the newspaper that will focus on growth, with the possibility of moving the newspaper’s Kings Cross headquarters elsewhere. The company did not comment on job cuts.
“I think it’s really important that I say that everything is in scope,” said Pemsel. “In the end, what is most important is the quality of our journalism, and the ability to have a plan that builds towards protecting The Guardian in perpetuity.”
Going forward, the newspaper plans to focus on membership plans and global growth. “This is not a paywall,” said Pemsel. “We do not want to stem our ability to broadcast to a wide audience. But we have put membership at the heart of what we’re doing, the heart of editorial. Something we’re not lacking is a loyal engaged audience.”
Formerly known as The Manchester Guardian, the newspaper was founded by John Edward Taylor in 1821. In 1936, owner JR Scott passed ownership of the paper to the trustees of the Scott Trust. The trust is the sole shareholder of the Guardian Media Group.