The Guardian U.S. has begun its 30% staff cuts in order to break even by 2017-18.
Eamonn Store, CEO of The Guardian U.S., said in a meeting with newsroom staff the company needs to make up for a revenue shortfall of $4.4 million over the next six months, Politico reports.
Due to low ad sales and revenue projections, “a longtime administrative staffer” was let go, as well as around half a dozen staffers in facilities, IT and accounting, according to Politico’s Morning Media.
For now, the company’s editorial staff will be offered buyouts. A round of layoffs will take place afterwards.
A source told Morning Media that The Guardian U.S. plans to cut about 50 jobs from the 150-person organization. This news is surprising, given the company just appointed two deputy editors, Jane Spencer and David Taylor, to lead digital strategy and news operations in August.
The U.S. branch, which launched in 2011, is part of The Guardian’s aggressive global expansion strategy. In 2014, The Guardian U.S. won a Pulitzer for breaking Edward Snowden's leaks about NSA surveillance.
Earlier this month, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian in the U.K. Alan Rusbridger said the publication’s predictions for ad revenues last year never materialized "because it all went to Facebook."Rusbridger said Facebook sucked up nearly $27m of The Guardian's digital advertising revenue last year.
In January, The Guardian announced it would slash costs by around 20% in order to “safeguard” the newspaper’s future. It plans to cut £52 million from its annual operating expenses of £268 million, or about $74 million from a total $382 million.
And in July, the company said it would cut its weekly media coverage in print from two pages to one.