London: Britain’s loss-making Guardian Media Group could close its weekly newspaper The Observer in a drastic cost-cutting drive, the Sunday Times reported here citing sources at the rival paper.
Members of the Scott Trust, a charitable foundation that owns GMG, had discussed the plan in early July, according to the report.
The Sunday Times added that the members were shown trial copies of an Observer-branded magazine that could replace the Sunday paper and would be published instead on Thursdays.
However, GMG management agreed to put the scheme on hold while an alternative was worked out to slim down The Observer and keep it as a Sunday publication.
“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,” the report quoted a senior source as saying.
GMG, which also publishes The Guardian, had last week posted an annual pre-tax loss of £89.8 million (euro106 million, $150 million) amid a fierce recession and sliding newspaper sales.