Guardian Media Group

Last updated
Guardian Media Group plc
Public limited company
Industry Media
Founded1907;113 years ago (1907) (Manchester Guardian)
1993 (1993) (Guardian Media Group plc)
Founder C. P. Scott
United Kingdom
Area served
England, Wales
Key people
Neil Berkett
Annette Thomas
Products Newspapers, websites
RevenueIncrease2.svg £254.4 million (2017 - 2018) [1]
Increase2.svg £8.5 million [1]
Increase2.svg £8 million [1]
Owner Scott Trust Limited
Divisions Guardian News & Media
Top Right Group (formerly Emap)
GMG Property Services Group

Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) is a British based mass media company owning various media operations including The Guardian and The Observer . The group is wholly owned by Scott Trust Limited, which exists to secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity.


The Group's 2018 annual report (year ending 1 April 2018) indicated that its owner, the Scott Trust Endowment Fund, reported a value of £1.01 billion (2017: £1.03bn). [2]


The company was founded as the Manchester Guardian Ltd. in 1907 when C. P. Scott bought the Manchester Guardian (founded in 1821) [3] from the estate of his cousin Edward Taylor.

It became the Manchester Guardian and Evening News Ltd when it bought out the Manchester Evening News in 1924, later becoming the Guardian and Manchester Evening News Ltd to reflect the change in the morning paper's title. It adopted its current name in 1993.

In 1991 it had a 20% stake in a consortium which included LWT, STV, The Walt Disney Company and Carlton Communications for a new ITV breakfast franchise called GMTV

Guardian Monthly was a glossy magazine published by the Guardian Media Group for readers around the world. [4] Launched in November 2006, [5] it made selections from The Guardian and The Observer ’s magazine supplements available to an international audience of English-speakers. [6] Issues contained interviews with cultural figures, features about world issues, and regular articles on travel, books, sport, health, fashion, food and photography. In July 2007, the Guardian Media Group announced the cancellation of the Guardian Monthly. [7] In a letter to subscribers, Will Ricketts, Guardian Monthly's publisher, explained the reasons for the cancellation of the monthly magazine:

The company is taking a long-term strategic view of its activities and although Guardian Monthly has performed well in the busy and competitive international marketplace, we have decided that it is not the right time to continue with a global magazine offering.

In March 2007 GMG sold 49.9% of Trader Media Group to Apax Partners, in a deal that valued Trader Media Group at £1.35 billion. In December 2007 it was announced that GMG and Apax had made a successful bid to buy Emap's business-to-business arm for around £1 billion. [8]

In February 2010, the group sold its GMG Regional Media division (consisting of two companies MEN Media and S&B Media which operated 31 local and regional newspaper titles) to Trinity Mirror for £44.8 million. The sale ended the historic connection between The Guardian and Manchester as the sale of the Manchester Evening News was included in the package. [9] The division's local television station for Greater Manchester, Channel M, and two newspapers in Woking were not included in the sale.

In June 2012, Global Radio acquired GMG Radio from Guardian Media Group plc. [10]

In January 2014, GMG disposed of its remaining interest in Trader Media Group. [11]

Carolyn McCall was the chief executive of Guardian Media Group and chair of Guardian News and Media Limited from 2006 until June 2010, when she was appointed chief executive of EasyJet. [12] Andrew Miller, previously the chief financial officer of the Group, was chief executive from July 2010 to 2015. David Pemsel took his place in 2015. [13] In January 2020, it was announced that Annette Thomas would become the new chief executive in March 2020. [14]

In October 2017, the Guardian Media Group reported a plan to launch a new £42 million venture capital fund. [15] That plan was consummated, making the Scott Trust a limited partner in GMG Ventures LP, whose Chairman & Co-Founder is David Skipwith Pemsel as of December 2018. [16] According to the GMG 2018 annual report, "this £42m venture capital fund is designed to contribute financial returns and to support GMG’s strategy by investing in early stage businesses focused on developing the next generation of media technology". [2]

In January 2020 GMG announced Annette Thomas, former editor of Nature, MD of Nature Publishing Group and chief executive of Macmillan Science and Education, as its new chief executive. She replaced David Pemsel who left to take up a role at the Premier League. [17]

Group structure

GMG’s core business is Guardian News & Media Limited, publisher of, and The Guardian and The Observer newspapers. Guardian News & Media was formed as Guardian Newspapers Limited in 1967, adopting its present name in 2006.

The group has a portfolio of investments to help support its journalism. [18] They comprise:

Guardian Media Group exists to support the core purpose of its owner, Scott Trust Limited: to secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity, [19] but in the 2011/12 year the group lost £75.6 million, [20] and for the three years up to June 2012, the paper itself lost £100,000 a day - leading Intelligent Life magazine to question whether The Guardian can survive. [21] In 2014, The Guardian launched a membership scheme, aiming to avoid introducing a paywall and maintaining open access to the website. As of 2018 this approach was considered successful, having brought more than 1 million subscriptions or donations, with the paper hoping to break even by April 2019 [22] , a goal they achieved in May 2019. [23]

Corporate governance

Board of directors

The board of directors are: [24]

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended 1 April 2018", Guardian Media Group , April 1, 2018
  2. 1 2 "Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) results for the financial year ended 1 April 2018". The Guardian. 24 July 2018.
  3. "History | Guardian Media Group PLC". Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  4. "Guardian to launch monthly mag". Press Gazette . 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  5. "Media choice: Guardian Monthly". Campaign . 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  6. Armstrong, Murray (2006-10-05). "New Guardian Monthly mag to be launched". The Guardian . Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  7. "Guardian Monthly ceases publication". Press Gazette . 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  8. Mark Sweney. "Emap confirms B2B sale to GMG and Apax". the Guardian.
  9. "Manchester Evening News sold by Guardian Media Group". Manchester Evening News. 2010-02-09. Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  10. "Global Radio acquires GMG Radio | Guardian Media Group PLC". 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  11. "Guardian Media Group to divest holding in Trader Media". 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  12. Davies, Caroline (23 March 2010). "Guardian group chief executive Carolyn McCall to join easyJet". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  13. Sweney, Mark (18 June 2015). "Guardian Media Group appoints David Pemsel as chief executive". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  14. editor, Jim Waterson Media (January 14, 2020). "Guardian Media Group appoints new chief executive" via maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  15. "The Guardian turns venture capitalist in hunt for new income". The Telegraph. 18 October 2017.
  16. Bloomberg. 17 December 2018 . Retrieved 17 December 2018. GMG Ventures LLP is a venture capital arm of Guardian Media Group plc specializing in seed, early-stage, incubation and startup investments. The firm seeks to invest in the media technology sector with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for journalism; advertising technology, including new formats and fraud detection; technology to enrich reader and customer experiences; payment technologies and other customer platforms; tools or platforms allowing readers to act on content that inspires them; and new forms of content distribution, via audio and voice platforms or virtual, mixed and augmented reality models.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. Mayhew, Freddy (14 January 2020). "Guardian group names scientist Annette Thomas as new chief executive". Press Gazette. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  18. "Our investments | Guardian Media Group PLC". Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  19. "The Scott Trust - The Guardian". the Guardian.
  20. "Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) announces full-year results for 2011/2012". the Guardian.
  21. "Can The Guardian Survive?". More Intelligent Life. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  22. Viner, Katharine (12 November 2018). "The Guardian's reader funding model is working. It's inspiring". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  23. Viner, Katharine (1 May 2019). "The Guardian breaks even against the odds: we couldn't have done this without you". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  24. "GMG board". Guardian News and Media. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2016.

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