First Fairfax, now The Guardian: Guardian Media Group to slash 250 jobs over next three years

By @michellelvdang on
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Pedestrians walk past the entrance of the Guardian newspaper building in London Reuter/Suzanne Plunkett

Guardian Media Group (GMG) plans to cut 250 jobs from its UK office over the next three years to stem its operating losses and break even.

The media company has also abandoned plans to refurbish a lavish event space in a former train yard near its offices in London’s inner city district, King’s Cross.

In a joint email to staff, the publication’s editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and chief executive David Pemsel said that the “volatile media environment,” including a sharp fall in print advertising, meant there was an “urgent need for radical action”.

“While protecting journalism remains our priority, we anticipate the impact will be spread across all departments, including editorial. We hope to achieve the target reductions through voluntary redundancy,” their note said, according to The Telegraph.

Of the 250 targeted job cuts, it is believed 100 will be from the editorial team.

The publisher said that while it would rely on voluntary redundancies, it would turn to its first ever compulsory redundancies “if necessary”. Previous voluntary redundancy programmes have fallen well short of targets, after The Guardian announced plans to reduce costs across its News & Media arm by 20 percent earlier this year.

According to the Telegraph, the company recorded a loss of £58.6 million (AU$110 million) in operations due to plunges in advertising revenue. The investment fund created to support  journalism also saw a loss of nearly £100 million (AU$189 million million) in value after the business spent heavily on expansion in the United States and Australia.  

The Guardian's job cuts follows a controversial trend amid tough trading for newspapers, with Fairfax on Thursday announcing plans to axe 120 jobs, leading to staff going on a three-day strike.

The Guardian Australia has confirmed that the cuts will  not affect its Australia or US markets and operations.

A spokesperson for Guardian Australia said to B&T media: “It’s business as usual, the financial model for Guardian Australia will not change as a result of the plans outlined by David Pemsel and Katharine Viner and there are no cuts planned locally.”