The Observer’s new editor, Will Hutton, has secured an increase in the
title’s marketing budget as a condition of him taking over at the ailing
The newspaper parted company with its editor, Andrew Jaspan, last
Friday, ending months of speculation. Jaspan gambled on an expensive
revamp in September, but sales have fallen by 4 per cent year on year in
the six months to February.
A spokeswoman for the Guardian Media Group, which publishes the
Observer, denied that Jaspan’s departure was an admission that the
revamp had failed. ‘The feeling was that Andrew had tremendous flair for
design, but there was uncertainty about his ability to give the paper a
proper heart and soul,’ she said.
However, insiders have been unhappy at the lack of investment put into
promoting the revamp by GMG’s owner, the Scott Trust.
The new appointment and financial assurance put an end to rumours that
the paper is up for sale, Hugo Young, the chairman of the trust, told
Observer staff on Friday. The Harrods chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed, made
two bids for the paper last month.
Hutton said: ‘It is my aim to accelerate the pace at which it recovers