Guardian announces 20% cuts to stem losses

The publisher of The Guardian has announced plans to cut costs by 20 per cent as it aims to break even in three years.

David Pemsel, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group
David Pemsel, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group

Guardian Media Group today outlined a three-year business plan to make the company more efficient, reduce costs and attain new growth opportunities. 

The company said it will target a 20 per cent overall reduction in Guardian News & Media's current £268 million annualised cost base, which equates to about £50 million.

By reducing its losses, the company is aiming to break even at an operating level by 2018/19.

It did not give details about how the cuts will affect staffing numbers on editorial or commercial teams. But the company did say it wanted to "align" commercial and editorial operations "to harness higher-growth membership and digital opportunities".

GMG also wants to implement an advertising model that "tracks market trends, notably around branded content, video and data".

It will also create a new data and insight team to support commercial and editorial innovation, as well as relaunching an enhanced membership offer, with the aim of doubling reader revenues.

As part of building its global brand, GMG also want to focus its international growth on the US and Australia and increase the contribution from those markets to the company’s overall business. 

Katherine Viner, the editor-in-chief of The Guardian, and David Pemsel, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, have informed GMG’s global staff about the plans.

Pemsel said: "Against the backdrop of a volatile market, we are taking immediate action to boost revenues and reduce our cost-base in order to safeguard Guardian journalism in perpetuity.

"This plan will ensure our business is increasingly adaptable and better able to respond quickly to the pace of change in the digital world."

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