The Guardian cuts 180 roles af­ter draw­ing on job re­ten­tion scheme

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Christo­pher Wil­liams

THE Guardian is to cut 180 jobs in­clud­ing 70 in edi­to­rial de­spite us­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s job re­ten­tion scheme.

The pub­lisher warned that pres­sures on ad­ver­tis­ing, its re­cruit­ment web­site, live events and print cir­cu­la­tion have cre­ated “an un­sus­tain­able fi­nan­cial out­look”. The coro­n­avirus pan­demic has put The Guardian on course for a bud­get short­fall of “well over” £25m, it said.

In an in­ter­nal memo, Katharine Viner, the ed­i­tor and An­nette Thomas, the chief ex­ec­u­tive, who only joined in March, said the cost-cut­ting was re­quired de­spite an ear­lier de­ci­sion to fur­lough 100 staff. The com­pany has also re­duced mar­ket­ing and travel bud­gets. “Even af­ter tak­ing these mea­sures into ac­count though, we face un­sus­tain­able an­nual losses in fu­ture years un­less we take de­ci­sive ac­tion,” they said. “It is clear that we will need to make sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings, and change the way we work.”

Ms Viner said last month that The

Guardian had drawn on tax­payer money to save jobs. “That’s what the fur­lough scheme is for, it’s to keep peo­ple em­ployed so I think it’s rea­son­able to fol­low it,” she said at the time.

The job cuts rep­re­sent more than one in 10 staff and come af­ter a three­year turn­around plan was de­clared com­plete last year when The Guardian broke even for the first time in two decades, ac­cord­ing to a non-stan­dard ac­count­ing mea­sure. That mile­stone was reached af­ter hun­dreds of vol­un­tary re­dun­dan­cies, a re­treat from an am­bi­tious in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion and the de­ci­sion to scrap be­spoke presses and out­source print­ing in a stan­dard tabloid for­mat.

Guardian Me­dia Group’s re­sults for the year to March, also pub­lished yes­ter­day, showed flat turnover of £224m but grow­ing op­er­at­ing losses. Losses on the ebitda mea­sure be­fore ex­cep­tional items more than dou­bled to £9.3m.

Cash burn, ad­justed for one-offs, rose slightly to £29m.

Mean­while, BBC News will cut another 70 jobs on top of the 450 an­nounced ear­lier this year due to the in­creased fi­nan­cial pres­sure on the Cor­po­ra­tion from the pan­demic.

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