Interesting take on the Guardian’s business model from Stephen Glover in the wake of Trader Media Group (TMG) writing off £463 million of the value of its magazine – TMG is part owned by Guardian Media Group.
Maybe GMG will be able to bankroll its national papers for ever. Personally, I wouldn’t count on it, especially if more of its investments go wrong. The trouble is that there seems to be no one in the Scott Trust or Guardian Media Group or on the papers themselves able or prepared to stand up and say what is blindingly obvious to everyone else in Fleet Street – that these newspapers are continuing to live dangerously beyond their means.
Update: A GMG spokesman has told Journalism.co.uk: “The write down Stephen Glover refers to is an accounting adjustment with zero impact on the overall value of TMG or its main brand Auto Trader (…) The write down reflects a transfer of value from print to digital rather than a drop in the actual value of the company. The net book loss arises simply because accounting rules don’t allow you to ‘write up’ the part of the business that has grown.”