The Guardian’s decline continues

The fall of the Rusbridger Empire draws closer, as evidenced by the news that the insipid Guardian is to scrap its film and music supplement and reduce its sport supplement to just two days per week, while also reducing the number of pages in the paper itself.

The Barclay Brother Beano also reports that with the Guardian making losses of over £40 million per annum, an attempt to coax a number of its hacks into voluntary redundancy has failed and compulsory job losses are now on the way. Small wonder the Guardian Media Group (GMG) uses hedge funds to make money while railing against them in print, and employs tax avoidance measures in its own interest while lambasting others for doing the same.

Last week the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for national newspapers for November was reported in the Press Gazette. It shows that newspapers continue their decline as readers turn away from them in increasing numbers.

The average drop in year on year average circulation figures across the dailies was 10.7% although the Independent’s huge drop is largely offset by transferring bulk circulation to its ‘i’ paper.  When that is taken into consideration one can see the biggest loser in the circulation war is the Guardian.  It comes as little surprise that GMG has even considered scrapping the print version of the paper and going exclusively online.

If public sector job advertising was taken away from the Guardian and moved to a dedicated online facility the taxpayer would not only save money, Rusbridger’s beast would cease to be fed.  Then even its online future would be in doubt.  We can but hope, but we will not hold our breath.

While we are on the subject, again it is worth reminding ourselves of the disproportionate influence the Guardian wields at the BBC.  Day in, day out, when a BBC programme wants media analysis or opinion on any given topic it turns to the hacks from Rusbridger Towers to hold forth from their left leaning, internationalist standpoint more than from any other outlet.  This despite the Guardian having a circulation smaller that the Daily Star and even the Daily Record.

The greater the number of readers turning away from the Guardian, the greater the number of BBC appearances as talking heads.  The incestuous links spawned from shared ideology are there for all to see.

23 Responses to “The Guardian’s decline continues”


  1. 1 AJC 16/12/2011 at 10:25 pm

    Please, please let Polly T be the first to receive her P45. I wonder if her prolonged winter holiday is deliberate.

  2. 2 mfosdb 16/12/2011 at 11:20 pm

    The desperation is apparent in their latest wheeze, nOtice:
    “Featured positions are sold based on region size and duration so, as an example, if you want to be certain of premium position on all pages displayed within a one mile radius the cost is £1 per day. Prices may be subject to change so please do check on the site for the actual price on the day.”
    http://about.n0tice.com/faqs/

  3. 3 Edward. 16/12/2011 at 11:40 pm

    I hate the rag, on my travels in Europe and further afield, it is there on newstands glaring back at me, the Grauniad in all it’s sad lefty tabloidness. Always alongside the NYT and Allgemeine Zeitung, why? Because no one buys the damn thing, all the proper papers including the Sun have long since been snapped up.

    I really do not believe, that there are 226K guardian readers in Britain either, that is just another Cif/Macht frei porky, they leave 200 thousand copies at broadcasting house each day, that’s not circulation, just the opposite, it’s called clogging up the sewer.

  4. 4 Jeremy Poynton 17/12/2011 at 2:36 am

    And while The Guardian rails at fat cats, the more they lose, the higher Rusbridger’s salary goes. Nice job if you can get it

  5. 5 Brian H 17/12/2011 at 3:42 am

    Heh. Reality bites. Hard!

  6. 6 right_writes 17/12/2011 at 11:19 am

    It can’t be beyond their ken, to understand that if there were to be an introduction of quality insightful reporting, they might actually reverse the trend.

    Apparently not.

  7. 7 NeilMc 17/12/2011 at 11:23 am

    AJC – You are being unkind to that good and genuine socialist, who is now going to have to spend Christmas in her luxurious Tuscan Villa. Maybe we should have a whip round to help her pay those vastly inflated private school fees!

  8. 8 Brian H 17/12/2011 at 11:37 am

    r_w;
    But where would they find it? And I doubt they believe they could find a complete replacement readership that would appreciate it.

  9. 9 Pirran 17/12/2011 at 11:47 am

    Yes, I do look forward to it’s demise, particularly as I am inadvertently paying for the damn rag through my Beeb poll tax.

    Does anyone have an approximate breakdown of its circulation? I know that it disproportionately relies on bulk sales to the public sector (trade unions, Beeb, libraries, quangos of every description) and I seem to remember CiF Watch did an approximate breakdown, but I can’t find it.

    It would be nice to see the grisly details of what it ACTUALLY sells…

  10. 10 Brian H 17/12/2011 at 11:58 am

    Lead all UK papers in loss of readership last year, I think; something over 16%.

  11. 11 Brian H 17/12/2011 at 12:02 pm

    Oops, I see that’s the same data as posted above. Around 230,000 this fall, I believe. That would make its drop around 46,000.

    Swirling around the drain…

  12. 12 The Gray Monk 17/12/2011 at 12:12 pm

    The sooner this vile left wing propaganda rag is shut down and disposed of the better. Perhaps the BBC will then be forced to report reality and not simply parrot the views of the Guardian and its collectives. It will also force the Civil Service to recruit in other papers that do not guarantee only candidates with socialist and left wing backgrounds apply.

    May the decline increase in speed!

  13. 13 Stuck-Record 17/12/2011 at 12:37 pm

    Autonomous, you are bang on about the Public sector advertising.

    Whatever happened to the suggestion, by the Tories, pre-election that this would be transferred to a Govt website (as it should be). The fact that this is ‘given’ to the Guardian is a massive scandal.

    Would love to know why they backtracked on it.

  14. 14 Mike Spilligan 17/12/2011 at 1:58 pm

    …but …but…it must be less than two years since La Toynbee opined that the G’s journalism was so superior to any other that there was clearly a case for funding it on a similar basis to the BBC and its licensing. I wonder why Rusbridger didn’t follow through with a major attack along those lines? ;-))

  15. 15 Jeremy Poynton 17/12/2011 at 5:04 pm

    @NeilMc 17/12/2011 at 11:23 am

    La Diva Toynbee has been there a month already. She has a two month sojourn in Tuscany, with the occasional article issuing forth from there. How the other 1% live, eh?

  16. 16 Jeremy Poynton 17/12/2011 at 5:05 pm

    @Stuck-Record 17/12/2011 at 12:37 pm

    I wrote to Pickles about this, but he couldn’t be bothered to reply.

  17. 17 Paul 17/12/2011 at 9:18 pm

    Considering the fact that there is a distinct lurch to the right in British politics it’s not really surprising I suppose. Perhaps a change in editorial and environmental as well as European reporting might see a change in their fortunes.
    I won’t hold my breath though.

  18. 18 Brian H 17/12/2011 at 10:48 pm

    The Gray Monk 17/12/2011 at 12:12 pm

    The sooner this vile left wing propaganda rag is shut down and disposed of the better. Perhaps the BBC will then be forced to report reality and not simply parrot the views of the Guardian and its collectives. It will also force the Civil Service to recruit in other papers that do not guarantee only candidates with socialist and left wing backgrounds apply.

    May the decline increase in speed!

    Be careful what you ask for. Imagine the entire staff of the Grau absorbed (at middle to senior levels, of course) into the Uncivil Disservice in one gulp!

  19. 19 Anoneumouse 18/12/2011 at 12:06 am

    A question for Government departments and other public sector employers placing job adds in the Guardian.

    Are they getting a wide enough circulation and value for the tax payers money

    It must be worh a FOI request

  20. 20 RoyFOMR 18/12/2011 at 6:35 am

    “I don’t care to belong to any club that would accept me as a member”.
    Groucho Marx
    “I don’t care for anyone to apply for a job with us unless they are already members of our club”
    Guardian Marxism

  21. 21 The Gray Monk 18/12/2011 at 7:14 pm

    Brian H, all the more reason to offer them and their supporters hemp ties and necklaces and a choice of lamp posts…

  22. 22 Sam Duncan 18/12/2011 at 9:01 pm

    There’s little better evidence that the Left is the new Establishment than the Times losing its postion of “disproportionately influential paper read by almost no-one” to the Guardian. These days, the “top” people take the Graun. Nobody else does.

    Amusing to see the Herald – the tartan Guardian – doing almost as badly, too. And I know for a fact that much of its circulation comes from it remaining – unlike its role model – a regional paper which Glaswegians who don’t agree with a word of its editorial line buy solely for the local news and “hatches, matches and dispatches”.

  23. 23 manicbeancounter 29/12/2011 at 1:28 am

    My late father started reading the Manchester Guardian in the 1940s, when it spoke for many. Even in the 1970s when I started reading the paper, it spoke more for Liberal centrism and balanced argument, than for the left. Now, particularly on climate, it is rapidly moving into the void left by the Morning Star. They are finding that void is pretty small.


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