Editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and Guardian Media Group chief executive Annette Thomas said in a joint staff statement that the pandemic has created “unsustainable financial prospects for the Guardian” and that revenues are expected to decline by more. £ 25 million from the budget for the year.
They said the Guardian Media Group, the parent company of the Guardian and the Observer, would face “unsustainable annual losses in the years to come unless we take decisive action” to cut costs.
Viner and Thomas said they remained committed to keeping the Guardian free to read and not following the paywall model adopted by many rivals. Instead, they will focus on the Guardian’s digital growth and focus on its reader revenue model.
“Despite the pressures that the coronavirus has placed on our business, our unique model of relationship with readers has proven to be effective and the strategy of the past few years has been the right one,” they said.
Asked if job losses would be achieved through a voluntary layoff process, a spokesperson for Guardian Media Group said, “We will be discussing all of our proposals, including the terms of the layoff, during the collective consultation with our employees and union representatives. ”
Guardian Media Group announced the plans alongside its results for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which covers the 12-month period ending in late March.
They show that before the pandemic, the company’s revenues had dropped slightly to £ 223.5 million, as the growth in reader contributions offset the drop in advertising revenue.