It will consolidate sections as part of a “cycle of integration”
The Guardian continues to downsize its print edition, announcing on Friday it will consolidate a few sections and reduce the paper's overall number of pages to cut costs.
The legendary U.K. paper already had begun a “cycle of integration” earlier this year that included folding the Media, Education and Society sections into the main section of the paper.
This latest round of changes includes folding the Sport section into the front section from Tuesday to Friday, trimming both the Comment section and the number of obituary pages.
The changes will take effect in January.
"As part of our digital first strategy, we have been looking in detail at how we produce our newspapers and website, and over the next few days we will be telling staff about our plans for a new, simplified production process," a spokesperson for the paper said. "The changes to the paper take account of changing patterns of readership and advertising and are based on research with our readers."
“The changes are intended to be incremental, and follow several months of work on mock-ups and reader research,” Dan Sabbagh, the paper's head of media and technology, wrote in the paper. “A more radical plan to cut back on daily news content in favour of a product that largely featured long-form and investigative pieces was examined but ultimately dropped.”
In some ways, this has been a banner year for the left-leaning British daily, which broke and continues to dominate the news of the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal. It also opened up new offices New York City to expand upon its already substantial U.S. audience.
However, the newspaper and its parent company, Guardian News & Media, continue to lose money as advertising revenue declines. The company announced an operating loss of about $85 million dollars for the year ending July 31.
The Guardian has an online audience in the tens of millions worldwide, but it does not charge for any of it via a paywall or subscription plan. Nonetheless, it has promoted a "digital first" strateg whereby it seeks to boost digital revenues to compensate for losses on the print side.
Previously the newspaper has also raised the weekday price of the paper and offered buyouts.