Rusbridger called in to Observer

The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger is carrying out a sweeping review of The Observer in a bid to stem continued losses at the title.

The review will take in all elements of the Sunday title, from editorial to advertising and marketing. Although Rusbridger is officially editor-in-chief of The Observer, the move is significant because it shows the Guardian Media Group recognises the serious nature of the title’s problems.

Analysts put losses at The Observer at between 8m and 12m a year.

A GMG spokeswoman says: “Alan Rusbridger will be looking at how The Observer is working at the moment. He will be considering the strategic positioning of the title.”

She adds: “Someone has got to take stock and he is the best person to do it.” But she says the review does not mean Rusbridger will cease to work on The Guardian on a day-to-day basis. She did not give any timetable for the review.

The Scott Trust, owner of GMG, is in the process of appointing a successor to GMG chief executive Jim Markwick, who retires in August. The Trust is believed to be looking outside the group for a replacement.

Media Analysis, page 16

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