Global: Guardian group posts £173m loss

The Guardian Media Group has announced loses of £173 million for the last financial year, as difficult print and digital ad markets and asset writedowns took their toll.

The Guardian had a loss of £69 million over the year but said it was making significant progress in its membership scheme, with more than 50,000 people paying to sign up.

Membership is a core part of plans by the parent company, Guardian Media Group, to counteract falls in both print and digital revenue, which led to an £8 million fall in total turnover to £209.5 million.

As part of plans to cut operating losses, which amounted to £58.6 million in the year to the end of March, the publisher of the Guardian and Observer said it would give up its ambitions to turn the Midlands Goods Shed, a former train depot, into a large events space and will restructure the less profitable parts of the business.

In a joint email to staff, editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and chief executive David Pemsel said the “volatile media environment” had led to an “urgent need for radical action”.

“Our plan of action has one goal: to secure the journalistic integrity and financial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity,” they wrote.

The company has just cut more than 260 jobs through a voluntary redundancy program that will save £17m a year, but Mr Pemsel said management would continue to monitor performance on a quarterly basis.

NYT hit by 12pc fall in ad revenue

New York Times Co swung to a second-quarter loss because of costs to streamline its international operations and declines in print and digital advertising, Dow Jones reports.

While digital subscriber growth remained robust, rising 22 per cent from a year earlier, chief executive Mark Thompson said that “advertising was tougher in the quarter, particularly on the print side”.

Advertising revenue fell 12 per cent in the second quarter, offsetting an increase of 3 per cent in its circulation revenue.

Digital advertising fell 6.8 per cent, declining for a second consecutive quarter, as weaker display advertising sales offset growth in branded content, mobile and programmatic advertising. Print advertising fell 14 per cent.

42 journalists detained in Turkey

Turkey has ordered the detention of 42 journalists, broadcaster NTV reported, under a crackdown following a failed coup that has targeted more than 60,000 people, drawing fire from the European Union.

The arrests or suspensions of soldiers, police, judges and civil servants in response to the July 15-16 putsch have raised concerns among rights groups and Western countries, who fear President Tayyip Erdogan is capitalising on it to tighten his grip on power.

Erdogan has declared a state of emergency, which allows him to sign new laws without prior parliamentary approval and limit rights as he deems necessary. The government has said these steps are needed to root out supporters of the coup and will not infringe on the rights of ordinary Turks.

NTV reported that among the 42 journalists subject to arrest warrants was well-known commentator and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak.

Netflix joins rush to make Panama Papers movie

Panama papers

Netflix is developing a movie about the Panama Papers after acquiring the rights to the book “The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the World’s Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money,” written by German journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer.

The movie, to be produced by John Wells and Claire Rudnick Polstein, is the second Panama Papers movie that has been announced this month, Variety says. Steven Soderbergh, Lawrence Grey’s Grey Matter Productions and Anonymous Content are producing an untitled project based on Jake Bernstein’s upcoming book “The Secrecy World.”

Obermaier and Obermayer, who write for German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, based their reporting on access from an anonymous whistleblower to 11.5 million documents from the offices of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The papers provided details on how the wealthy and powerful used the firm to take finances offshore to avoid tax liabilities.

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