The Guardian has confirmed losses of £69 million for the last financial 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 publisher’s 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.
Not including one-off costs, the revenue decline resulted in a pre-tax loss of £68.7 million, compared with £14.7 million in the preceding year. On an underlying basis, losses were £62.6 million, up from £38.8 million.
However, exceptional items totalling more than £104 million, including an £84 million writedown of the value of its stake in business publisher Ascential, meant the company recorded a total loss of £173 million.
Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel and Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief Katharine Viner have introduced a strategy aimed at cutting costs by 20 per cent over the next three years and developing new sources of income to counteract falling print ad revenues and volatility in the digital ad market.
The company recently cut more than 260 jobs through a voluntary redundancy program that will save £17 million a year, but Mr Pemsel said management would continue to monitor performance on a quarterly basis.
Gawker looks at potential sale
Advisers overseeing the Gawker Media bankruptcy estate have begun exploring a potential sale of its flagship site, Gawker.com.
The Wall Street Journal reports the estate is considering retaining an investment bank or other advisers to assist in a sale process. The assets for sale include the Gawker brand, domain name, social media accounts and archive of stories.
Will Holden, a managing director in the New York office of professional services firm Dacarba which is administrating Gawker Media’s liquidation plan, says the process of how to monetise the residual Gawker brand has begun.
He said the sale process was in the early stages and a decision on whether to retain professional advisers had yet to be made.
Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc acquired Gawker Media’s other websites last summer for $135 million.
UN demands media access in Yemen
The United Nations has demanded media access to report on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen after a Saudi Arabia-led coalition blocked three foreign journalists from traveling on a UN aid flight to the Houthi rebel-controlled capital, Sanaa.
“Steps like this do not help,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. “This has been a large man-made humanitarian problem, the world needs to know and journalists need to have access.”
The coalition, which intervened in the Yemen conflict in 2015 in support of the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, controls the airspace over Yemen and can prevent any flights made without prior permission.
The Saudi-led coalition, which is backing Yemen government forces fighting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels, prevented the UN flight from departing Djibouti on Tuesday because the journalists were due to travel.