Author: By Ian Burrell, Media Editor
In its annual report for 2008-2009, GMG, which publishes The Guardian and The
Observer newspapers, reported a pre-tax loss of £89.8m, compared with a
profit last year of £306.4m, on turnover which was down to £405.4m compared
Guardian News & Media, the group’s national newspaper division, reported
an increase in operating losses to £36.8m, compared to £26.4m in 2008, on a
reduced turnover of £253.6m compared with £261.9m.
Despite the losses, the GNM editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger received an 11 per
cent rise in salary to £445,000 for the year to 29 March. Rusbridger said in
April that he would take a 10 per cent pay cut this year.
The GMG chief executive, Carolyn McCall, took a 39.7 per cent pay cut last
year, receiving a total package of £498,000. Her salary was £472,000 and her
benefits totalled £26,000.The previous year she received a total of
£827,000, including a salary of £424,000 and bonus of £385,000.
Yesterday McCall said: “The sharp decline in the advertising market had
an impact on each of the wholly owned businesses. All are reducing costs to
a more sustainable level in this harsh new environment.”
GMG’s 2008 profit figures were inflated by the one-off proceeds from selling a
49.9 per cent of Trader Media Group, publishers of Auto Trader. That joint
venture, in which GMG retains a 50.1 per cent share, is the group’s most
profitable arm with an operating profit of £110.8m (compared with £119.9m in
2008) on turnover of £296m (£309.9m).
The local newspaper division, GMG Regional Media, which includes the
Manchester Evening News, saw operating profit down to £0.5m (from £14.3m in
2008) on turnover down to £94.5m (from £120.5m). GMG described the current
market as “the most challenging in the history of the local and
regional press”. GMG Radio, which includes stations such as Smooth and
Real Radio, posted an operating loss of £6.6m (compared with £0.1m profit in
2008) on turnover of £46.6m (£48.8m).
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