The Guardian is preparing for steep editorial cuts after a slowdown in advertising sales. Job losses are highly likely, insiders at the media company said.
“This is shaping up to be one of the most difficult … periods we’ve faced in many years,” David Pemsel, Guardian Media Group’s chief executive, said in an internal memo obtained by POLITICO.
Spending on new hires, salaries, travel and other expenses will be reined in as the company tries to reduce its losses, Pemsel added. He did not mention job cuts in the e-mail but several people at the company said there will need to be a reduction in the workforce to stem the red ink.
Pemsel is half of a new leadership team that took over at the newspaper company in the summer, with Katharine Viner the editor-in-chief. The duo are struggling with a problem vexing all newspaper bosses: generating enough money from digital products to make up for diminishing income from print.
This year has been “incredibly challenging” for all the major players on Fleet Street, Pemsel said, with print advertising falling at an alarming rate in the first half of the year. Across the whole market, print advertising will be down by about 20 percent, he said. Circulations are also falling.