The Guardian (U.S.) managed to rake in a paltry $15.5 million in revenue while losing nearly $16 million during the past year, Politico reported Friday. The revelation comes less than a week after the left-wing media outlet announced massive layoffs.
The group initially believed its revenue would explode this year, to $32.2 million, according to Politico, but was forced to slash its forecast by more than $12 million after the Guardian’s recent financial bloodbath.
Guardian U.S. CEO Eamonn Store believed the company would pull in $32.2 million in fiscal year 2016 and $44 million during fiscal year 2017, which would potentially allow Store’s beleaguered ship to break even by 2018. The group was launched in 2011 and is a subsidiary of Guardian Media Group (GMG) – an entity partially funded by failing trust, Scott Trust.
Online traffic increased, but the revenue projections disappeared, replaced by massive overhead and bleeding profits.
Still, GMG seemed undeterred by the driving headwinds.
“We are committed to Guardian US and to building on the remarkable success of our journalism,” a company spokesman told reporters, adding, however, that the company is not committed to propping up a money-losing entity.
“[W] e want Guardian Media Group to break even at an operating level within the next three years and that no part of the business can be immune from tough action to secure the Guardian in perpetuity,” he added.
The UK-based media group ran headlong into financial turmoil this year, suffering pre-tax losses of more than $90 million compared to a mere $19 million loss last year.
The liberal-leaning news outlet lost nearly $227 million last year when write-downs are included in the math. High-profile journalists are jumping off the leaky vessel partially because of the financial bloodbath but also because they are skeptical about The Guardian’s new membership program.
The company told staff during a Sept. 16 meeting that they would offer buyouts to unionized editorial staff first and then move to enact a chorus of layoffs. The reductions will amount to a substantial decrease of about 50 jobs across the 150-person group, according to a source briefed on the measures.
GMG managed to absorb Guardian U.S.’ losses for years but now needs to find a way to tie a tourniquet on the festering wound. The company lost $89 million from day-to-day operations in 2015, which, if allowed to continue, would ultimately lead to $950 million in losses over a decade.
The Guardian was relegated at one time to casting its net far and wide in an effort to find groups to fund its sinking ship. It has even asked for donations from entities the company considers ethically immoral.
The newspaper asked Brexit supporters, for instance, to donate money to keep alive their “well-sourced, calm, accessible and intelligent journalism.”
The left-wing company ran op-eds recently harshly criticizing the so-called Brexit vote, calling the Britain’s vote to secede from the European Union one fueled by “racism.”
Guardian Editor-In-Chief Katharine Viner appealed to Brexit supporters for donations despite the ideological opposition. She asked readers to contribute “either through a monthly or one-off payment – so we can continue interrogating exactly what has happened, and why, and what needs to happen next.”
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