Guardian Media Group’s Losses Total £173 Million

guardian logo

The FT reports that write downs and one offs took the Guardian Media Group’s losses last year to £173 million. Operating losses at the Guardian itself were £69 million – over a million quid a week. Unsurprisingly the redundancies have hit 20% of the staff – headcount had reached over 1000 employees. The question is will they retrench or continue the global expansion (of losses) in America and Australia?

Cash-Strapped Guardian Cancels Student Awards

Guardian SMA

Despite accruing millions in extra income through its systemic tax avoidance, the Guardian can’t scrape enough cash together to throw a student bash. The paper has placed the awards on “hiatus” while “reviewing our events portfolio and new opportunities for the future.” The awards, which have been running since the ’70s, have previously been won by Steve Dineen lifestyle editor of City AM, Heidi Blake of Buzzfeed, and documentarian Ruaridh Arrow. Wonder if they’ll be dropping their 25% student discount, too…

How Remainers Stitched Up Gove’s Elderly Father

GOVE

Michael Gove was as emotional as you will ever see on Question Time as he responded to the Guardian story about his father. Privately the Goves are genuinely furious, and say the paper “rang up an elderly man who is very hard of hearing and has serious diabetes and twisted his words”. The Guardian story is headlined “Michael Gove’s father denies his company was destroyed by EU policies”. Yet this was the actual answer 79 year-old Ernest Gove gave to the journalist’s question:

“There’s nothing really to go back about anyway because it just was, when Europe went into fishing, the industry more or less collapsed down and I just packed in and got a job with another firm, you know. That was all that was happening.”

He didn’t contradict Gove Jnr, he completely confirmed him to be telling the truth.

As the journalist repeatedly tried to get Gove Snr to contradict Michael, Ernest explicitly said: “I’m not going against my son”. The Guardian claim “Michael Gove’s office neither denied or retracted or contested accuracy of Earnest Gove quotes”. Except they provided the reporter with a statement from Ernest Gove, again rubbishing the story:

“I don’t know what this reporter is going on about. Everybody in the north-east knows it was Europe that did such damage to the fish trade. The common fisheries policy was a disaster, not just for Aberdeen, but all of Scotland. There wasn’t any future for my business. It closed as a direct result of Europe.”

For avoidance of doubt, here is Ernest Gove on camera last week giving the BBC his view:

Despite Gove Snr clearly agreeing with his son – on camera, in the phone call with the reporter and in a statement provided prior to publication – the Guardian published the incorrect headline anyway. The article was held back until shortly before Gove Jnr’s appearance on Question Time for maximum damage. Remain spinners Will Straw and lyin’ Ryan Coetzee then piled in on Twitter, knowing it to be untrue. Pretty low even by the standards of political campaigning…

Guardian Editorial Condemns Rivals’ Tax Affairs

guardian

Today’s Guardian editorial says vote Remain because the newspapers backing Brexit are owned by tax avoiders. Yes, really.

“Questions also need to be asked about what lies behind the flag-waving certainties that are currently being served up by so much of Fleet Street. Imperfect as it may be, Europe-wide cooperation is the best hope we have on tax avoidance. And the typical tax-paying patriot may wonder whether they are on the same side on that question as the non-domiciled Lord Rothermere, who owns the Mail, or the Barclay Brothers, who own the Telegraph and have major interests in the Channel Islands and a Monaco address.”

“The typical tax-paying patriot?”

Readers don’t need reminding about the Guardian’s own offshore secrets, the assets held in the Caymans, the Scott Trust tax dodge. The lack of self-awareness is stunning…

Owen Jones’ Lexit U-Turn

Owen Jones Lexit

Owen Jones is a fully signed-up Remainer these days. He has joined John McDonnell’s Another Europe is Possible group in calling for a “radical In vote” and spent today lamenting polls putting Leave ahead. Yet only a year ago Owen was a self-proclaimed Lexiteer, making the left-wing case for Leave. As late as last July, OJ told us:

“The case for Lexit grows ever stronger, and – at the very least – more of us need to start dipping our toes in the water.” 

As for McDonnell, for whom a young Owen was once a bag-carrier, the conversion has been even more dramatic. This explicit call to Leave is from 2014:

Interesting that both Owen and McDonnell are ditching their long-held views on the EU. It’s not just Tories who are selling out to help their careers…

Rusbridger Out

Yesterday the Scott Trust, owners of the Guardian, met to discuss whether Alan Rusbridger would take over as chair as agreed two years ago. The Trust was split on whether this should still happen – current editor Kath Viner and GMG chief exec David Pemsel particularly opposed Rusbridger’s return amid staff outcry and swingeing cuts. Today Rusbridger has confirmed he is out. Coup successful…

Read his email in full:

Dear former colleagues

I wanted to let you know I will not be returning to Chair the Scott Trust later this year. Many of you will know what the Scott Trust has meant to me and for Guardian journalism. It is so unique that not many people – externally, or, sometimes, even internally – truly appreciate the crucial role it has had over many years in nurturing, resourcing and protecting what we do. When, in late 2014, the Scott Trust appointed me to succeed Liz as chair I was beyond honoured. But much has changed in the year since I stepped down. All newspapers – and many media organisations beyond – have been battered by turbulent and economic forces that were difficult to foresee last summer.

On my appointment to the Scott Trust job in November 2014 the Chair of GMG, Neil Berkett, was kind enough to say publicly : “Alan has set the standard for journalistic leadership in the digital age. His appointment to lead The Scott Trust coincides with rapidly rising readership, continued innovation and secure finances at the Guardian. His successor will inherit a global media organisation in very strong health and with clear prospects for further growth.” The difference between that assessment and the way things look now is a measure of how much the world has changed. I have been on the Trust long enough to understand its role.

We all currently do our journalism in the teeth of a force 12 digital hurricane. It is surely obvious to anyone that changed circumstances will demand dramatically changed solutions. Kath and David clearly believe they would like to plot a route into the future with a new chair and I understand their reasoning. I have a fantastically interesting new life in Oxford. I will miss you all. You have been the most wonderful colleagues and we achieved really amazing things together. I continue to read with immense admiration the journalism the Guardian and Observer produce. It’s all the more enjoyable for having played no part in it.

Thanks to all of you who have quietly emailed support in the past few weeks. And very best wishes to all as you negotiate the storms currently affecting pretty much everyone in our industry. We will come through….

Alan

Dave Gets His Daily Dose

Another happy reader – Dave shares with the House the news, as revealed by Guido, that the BBC, Mirror Group, and Guardian have all been using offshore investment funds. Sign up to the Guidogram here to get your daily dose too… 

Media Organisations Using Offshore Havens

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Guido is enjoying the squirming of the offshore elite as much as anyone – the Icelandic premier is a corker, the Putin case study is great, the Bollywood stars who make their millions from millions of poor Indians will find it hard to survive the reputational hit. All very enjoyable.

It is worth mentioning that most of the UK’s big media organisations shelter assets and cash flows offshore. Top of the hypocrites in this respect is The Guardian. They put their assets in the Caymans, and they used a Luxembourg tax shell designed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to funnel cash flows beyond the reach of HMRC. They previously blamed the difficult economic environment for committing the sins for which they condemn others. This isn’t just hypocrisy, this is an insult to us all. The Guardian’s entire heritage is one of tax dodging, the original founding Scott Trust was itself a tax dodge. They have year after year avoided tens of millions of taxes…

Other media organisations using offshore entities include the Huffington Post – whose journalists criticised Amazon for doing the same. The owners of the Mail, News UK and The Telegraph also have various offshore tax-efficient structures. Facebook, Google and Guido are not UK-owned though in the latter groups’ cases they have at least never claimed to be in favour of clamping down on tax havens. Guido’s point is that the likes of the Guardian should practice what they preach, hold all their assets in the UK and pay all the taxes which will consequently arise.

Read more:

Seumas Milne Floored in Guardian Game of Chicken

Some Easter holiday reading: don’t miss WikiGuido’s profile of Seumas Milne in this month’s GQ. Read Milne’s extraordinary defence of a self-confessed KGB stooge, the inside story of the ‘revenge reshuffle’ and how he was floored in a game of chicken in the Guardian newsroom:

Former colleagues reveal how, despite his slight figure, Milne had a remarkable habit of refusing to give way in corridors.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Cutting 250 Jobs

Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel emails staff:

Given that over half our current costs are people, we propose to reduce our UK headcount by around 250 people. While protecting journalism remains our priority, we anticipate the impact will be spread across all departments, including editorial.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Nicholas Watt New Newsnight Political Editor

nicholas-watt-newsnight

Congratulations to Nick Watt, the telegenic Guardian chief political correspondent who has been appointed the new Newsnight political editor. A deserved escape route from Kings Place for pretty-boy Watt after he was snubbed for the pol-ed job there. Ian Katz hires yet another Guardian journalist. […]

+ READ MORE +

Guido Gets Guardian Gong

The Guardian’s Ed Snowden coverage in 2014 led to a series of high-profile awards, notably a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy. So what on earth was this gong doing on sale in a Richmond Oxfam?

Guido dispatched a roving reporter to find out…

Apparently an unidentified benefactor turned up at the Oxfam on Friday afternoon and handed the Pulitzer in. […]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian’s 13,000 Unpaid Students

Earlier Guido pointed out the Guardian’s hypocrisy in criticising the Tab for using unpaid student writers, when they do the exact same thing. The Tab has asked the Guardian’s press office how many student writers they have on their ‘Blogging Students’ site.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hypocrisy of Guardian Attack on Tab

The Guardian has executed a drive-by shooting on The Tab, the popular student news site which has successfully disrupted the old student media establishment. Headlined “The Tab picks up business without paying”, the hit piece accuses the site of “exploitation” because some student contributors are unpaid.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Job Culls Coming at Indy, Guardian, Telegraph

indy

Evgeny Lebedev is expected to close the Indy and Sindy print editions as soon as tonight. Of the 150 full-time staff, just 20 or so look like they’ll moving over to the i paper. It will not be difficult for the owners to find voluntary redundancies. […]

+ READ MORE +

Belam’s Back

BELAM-back

Martin Belam, possibly the most over-rated person on social media, is going back to the Guardian to continue wasting money on behalf of people who don’t really know what to do on the internet. He cratered over at Trinity Mirror, where the appeal of his Ampp3d / UsVsThem projects was lost on executives struggling to keep the media group viable.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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