The Guardian newspaper said on Wednesday it plans to axe 180 jobs, the latest British publisher to announce cuts as the coronavirus crisis drives readers online and slashes advertising revenues.
The left-leaning newspaper said in a staff memo the redundancies would affect around 70 editorial roles, with the remainder in areas such as advertising, marketing and events.
Editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and Guardian Media Group chief executive Annette Thomas added revenues would be down by more than £25 million ($31.6 million, 27.6 million euros) this financial year, and the pandemic had created an “unsustainable financial outlook for the Guardian”.
The move follows an announcement last week by Reach, which publishes national newspapers the Daily Mirror and Daily Express, and a string of local titles, to cut about 550 jobs.
It also blamed the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, which had accelerated “structural change in the media sector”, with increases in digital revenue not making up the shortfalls from lost advertising income.
Reach’s proposed reduction of 12 percent of its workforce was part of plans to make annual cost savings of £35 million, it added.
The Guardian announced its cuts alongside financial results for the 2019-20 financial year, which cover the 12 months to the end of March — when Britain’s three-month virus lockdown was just a week old.
They showed company revenues had fallen to £223.5 million. Income from readers through subscriptions and donations made up for a drop in advertising income.
The paper, which switched to a new tabloid format in 2018 to help cut costs, has kept its online content free-to-read and, in contrast to many rivals, not adopted a paywall model.
Viner and Thomas told staff they remained committed to the strategy.
“Despite the pressures that coronavirus has placed on our business, our unique reader relationship model has proved successful, and the strategy of the past few years has been the right one,” they added.