Tuesday 10 November 2009

Observer to close three of its monthly mags: NUJ warns it will be 'less competitive'

This is sad news. The Observer is to close three of its monthly magazines and become a four section paper as part of a revamp to be introduced next year, Guardian News & Media announced today. The three sections to be axed are Observer Sport Monthly, Observer Music Monthly and Observer Woman.
The four sections in the redesigned paper will be news, sport, an expanded Review section and the Observer magazine – plus Observer Food Monthly.
Business and personal finance coverage will move into the main news section of the paper, while travel coverage will be incorporated into the Observer magazine.
GNM says a core editorial staff will continue to work solely for the Observer. Other Observer journalists will be integrated into the editorial teams that work across the Sunday paper, the Guardian and guardian.co.uk.
GNM has reopened its voluntary redundancy scheme and the precise number of departures from different editorial departments has not yet been finalised, the company says. GNM editorial staff will be briefed about a wider range of company-wide changes tomorrow. It has reopened its voluntary redundancy scheme in a bid to stem losses of £100,000 a day.
Responding to the announcement, NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick, said: “This is a move that will make the Observer less competitive in what is already an already exceedingly tough marketplace.
"It will do nothing to improve circulation and can only result in a lower quality product. We know that Guardian Media Group is looking to save costs, but they need to ensure that any steps don’t result in the running down of its titles.”

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