Am I right to be worried about the future of The Guardian?


This… is pretty grim stuff. I would put money on The Observer being canned within a year and it seems that almost every part of GMG’s business has been badly hit by the downturn. I know The Guardian is owned by a trust, but talk of ‘keeping losses within sustainable limits’ sounds very bleak.

At the moment publishers can take comfort in the thought that much of what they are dealing with is the result of a very severe economic downturn. However what Guardian Media Group CEO Carolyn McCall appears to be saying is that no one really knows how much the company will have to evolve because of the restructuring of the media and the impact of online content and social media.

Print based media is inevitably going to continue to decline in both sales of publications and advertising revenue. It is also very clear that the online display ad model simply won’t generate enough revenue to support huge websites from large media organisations. Content creation is an expensive business. Also The Guardian, more than any other British media organisation, seems have got online content right in being able to attract huge readerships but not dumbing down content or trotting out link fodder.

As for online advertising, I maybe wrong and we might see CPM ad rates leap up to pre 2008 levels next year, but I very much doubt it.

This kind of uncertainty really is going to make managing a large media organisation, whether it be The Guardian or the mega magazine publishing houses, a really tricky job in the next couple of years.

It makes the words of this smug man seem even more hollow…


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