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. Many journalists at the Indy will be loathe to work for the much-derided, clickbait-obsessed online offering.

Meanwhile the Guardian is imposing 20% cuts, with staff warned in an email this morning that “As our staff costs are by far our biggest overhead, one outcome of the budgeting process may be that redundancies are proposed”. They are looking at 100 redundancies, and according to Beth Rigby they want to start with their “on leave” columnist Seumas Milne. He is in line for a £90,000 payout.

Media sources tell Guido that the Telegraph is set to announce a jobs cull next week. Print journalists there are furious at the dumbing down of content for their own ‘digital first’, Indy-style clickbait-based website. You will often find the exact same traffic-farming stories on the Telegraph site as you will on the Indy online. See the Telegraph’s “Man with two penises writes tell-all memoir” and the i100’s “The man with two penises has now written a tell-all memoir”. 

The FT have some killer numbers:

“Fleet Street’s large newsroom may be unsustainable. The Times had 454 editorial staff at last count, The Sun 525, the Daily Telegraph 662 and The Guardian, following expansion overseas, 925.”

Online-only is the only option. The question now is how proprietors and executives will reconcile the trend for traffic-driving churnalism to the pay the bills with actual, old-fashioned journalism in the digital age. The future of journalism is specialism, the most profitable online media operations have focus, that generates specific audience demographics that can be packaged for advertisers at premium prices.

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. The Guardian itself reported “Trinity Mirror moved to close the sites last May, with the loss of almost 30 roles, citing high running costs for low volume of traffic”. Belam’s career is littered with supposedly innovative internet projects which are soon abandoned after having less appeal than cat GIFs. Read interviews with Belam over the years and he can sound a bit like fellow social media expert Siobhan:

The Guardian says “he is the perfect person to lead our new social strategy and team.” Belam says “It’s a fabulous opportunity to look at new ways of digital storytelling…” Guido can’t help wondering if any of these new ways of storytelling might include “making profits”?

Guardian Embraces Austerity

As we go to pixel, a major company meeting is taking place over at King’s Place where Guardian staff are being informed of 20% cuts to be imposed on their publisher, Guardian News & Media. The meeting had to be split into two parts – one at 11am, a second at 2pm – because the Guardian has so many members of staff. A neat illustration of the problem…

The key figures are:

  • Running costs cut by 20%, over £50 million
  • £52 million operating loss expected in year to the end of March
  • Operating costs reach £268 million, up 23% in the last five years
  • Cash and investment fund down £100 million on last year
  • Print advertising falls by 25%

Unbelievably the investment fund, which was supposed to finance The Guardian’s losses in perpetuity, lost 12% – down £100 million from £838 million to £735 million. Who is trading the fund, William Keegan?

GNM chief executive David Pemsel isn’t commenting on potential job losses. He told staff today: “It’s very easy to look back and say the Guardian has made mistakes”. Worth noting that Alan Rusbridger spent £4.5 billion during his tenure as editor…

Media Guardian Pulls “Disgraceful” Bowie Video

Media Guardian were not impressed with Channel 5 for showing Angie Bowie in tears on Big Brother, with editor Kath Viner tweeting that the footage was “disgraceful“. So disgraceful that the Guardian posted the clip in its entirety above their article.

The clip has now been removed from the Guardian website and replaced with a still. It was The Last Thing You Should Do

Pat-riarchy Stumps Sir Michael White

The ‘one Pat in, one Pat out’ approach to the reshuffle confounded poor Sir Michael White:

The incoming Pat (top right) certainly is a proper northerner, but she isn’t a “he”.

Guido knows the feeling, it was approaching day three of the reshuffle when the move was announced. And to be fair, it’s out of character for Corbyn to promote a woman…

H/T @youngvulgarian

Last Minute Gift Idea for Guardian Readers

cccp

Something for the Seumas in your life? Cooking for Kulaks (witty blank pages), borscht for bolsheviks, perhaps some old time gulag gruel? A Corbyn stocking filler they say. “CCCP Cook Book”, the inedible for the unspeakable…

Hat-tip: Jackie Danicki

Stay Classy, Guardian

Congratulations to the Guardian for the most unpleasant headline of the day. John Crace, the man who writes their unfunny parliamentary sketches, had this to say about the Maggie Thatcher auction yesterday in a piece laced with bitterness:

“The old dear would have loved it, with her friends and enemies at last united. For there was one thing on which everyone could agree: she was worth a great deal more dead than she had been alive.”

Stay classy. 

Of course, this is the same John Crace who two years ago wrote an emotional article about how important it is to be sensitive to those who had been bereaved. In capital letters, Crace wrote: “FIND WORDS TO HELP”. Maybe he should take his own advice…

Guardian Pol Ed Job Share

The Guardian have appointed Sky’s Anushka Asthana and Observer economics editor Heather Stewart to share the political editor job. A massive snub for Nick Watt, who was the overwhelming favourite for the job and seemed a shoo-in to step up following Patrick Wintour’s departure. There were fears in Guardianista circles that Watt wasn’t pro-Corbyn enough, though he will surely land a big gig somewhere else imminently. Stewart on the other hand is “more Zoe Williams than Jonathan Freedland”That’s two women getting top jobs in the male-dominated Lobby…

UPDATE:

Ouch.

Record High Numbers of Polar Bears

polar bears

The Guardian is having a field day following the publication of a report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The paper endorsed the report’s rather sensationalised claims that polar bears are likely to have their numbers decimated […]

+ READ MORE +

Seumas Milne’s Closeness to Guardian Editor

There has been consternation in Labour circles and at the Guardian over Seumas Milne being allowed to work for Jeremy Corbyn while “on leave” from King’s Place. The bizarre arrangement suggests he still has his column waiting for […]

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Guardian Seeks Digital-Friendly Pol Ed

Last month Guido brought you the news that Guardian political editor Patrick Wintour is stepping down. It seems new editor Kath Viner is looking for someone a bit more digital-friendly.

“Understanding of social media” is “a strong advantage” says the […]

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Zoe Williams: “I Really Don’t Have a Problem” With Protesters Spitting at Journalists

Guardian charmer Zoe Williams has told the Daily Politics “I really don’t have a problem” with protesters spitting on her journalist colleagues:

“The fact that some people spit and throw eggs… actually I think there is a kind

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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