Guardian group may shut down Observer

 

Members of the Scott Trust, the charitable foundation that owns Guardian Media Group (GMG), discussed the plan on July 6.

They were shown trial copies of an Observer-branded news magazine that would replace the paper and be published on a Thursday, The Sunday Times said. The proposal entailing the closure of The Observer, received opposition from some trust members and accordingly GMG executives agreed to put the scheme on hold while an alternative was worked out.

This (the opposition) would keep The Observer as a Sunday newspaper but heavily slimmed down. Insiders now expect a decision at a trust meeting next month, the newspaper added.

Quoting a source at The Observer, the daily said: “At the moment, I would say it is 50:50 whether we are headed for the magazine, or for job losses and cost-cuts but keeping the paper.” Closure of The Observer would bring an end to a 218-year publishing era. It reached a peak circulation of 1.3 million copies in 1979, but now hovers at about 400,000 a week.

The Observer is thought to have lost 10 million-20 million pound a year in recent years, and not to have made a profit since it was bought by The Guardian in 1993,The Sunday Times said.

 

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