James Harding, the editor of the Times, has admitted that the long term future of the newspaper is under threat while it makes "unsustainable" losses and that costs need to be cut to free up funds for digital investment to cope with "galloping technological change".By Ben Dowell and Mark Sweney, Guardian
Harding's remarks, made in an email to staff, follow announcements to staff that the Times and Sunday Times, which make daily losses in the region of £240,000, are looking to cut up to 80 staff between them and each reduce their editorial budgets by 10%.
"Times Newspapers Limited is losing a significant amount of money," said Harding. "Our losses are unsustainable. We cannot ensure the long-term future of this paper and our futures in journalism if we cannot make a viable business out of the Times." Harding said that the cuts would go beyond editorial staff and that talks would commence with "all departments about other forms of cost savings".
Budgets needed to be cut immediately to reduce losses and to invest in digital journalism, he said. The announcement comes ahead of Rupert Murdoch's plan to introduce digital pay walls for the Times and Sunday Times.
"We are clearly in a period of galloping technological change and we need to ensure that we have the resources to invest so that we can lead the market in digital journalism," Harding writes. "Today, we are starting a process to cut costs, reduce our losses and free up resources for the future of our journalism."
Harding inserted a pep talk into the email, which raised the spectre of compulsory redundancies if targets cannot be met voluntarily, praising the newspaper's "fair and forceful" election coverage and growing digital journalism prowess.
Read Harding's email to colleagues: