Digital-First Guardian Cuts Down MediaGuardian, Two Other Print Supplements

More developments on the theme of printed newspapers going digital first. The Guardian has announced that the MediaGuardian, plus two other weekly supplements on education and society, will cease to be a standalone printed supplements after next week. The sections will be cut down in size and subsequently run in the main newspaper. They will remain fully operational online.

The new MediaGuardian editorial coverage will feature two interviews plus additional stories. Meanwhile, the job advertisements that used to run at the end of these supplements will now directly follow the editorial in the newspaper. No jobs will be affected by the change, according to a note on Twitter from Dan Sabbagh, head of media and technology coverage for The Guardian.

MediaGuardian, which is printed every Monday, has over the years become the go-to place for news about the UK media world, covering broadcasting, print, new media, advertising and public relations news. Media types and would-be media types have read it over the years not just for news but for its job listings.

But with so much of the country’s news-reading audience now shifted online — both for breaking news and for job hunting — a comprehensive printed edition is perhaps less essential now than it used to be. That, it seems, was no less true for MediaGuardian, which had been steadily becoming a smaller section anyway.

The three supplements — the so-called “G3’s” — in fact, had already started coming out as part of the printed main paper at the beginning of August — although at the time, it was said that at least the MediaGuardian would resume as a standalone section on August 22.

More generally, the Guardian has been gradually cutting back on printed operations in favor of furthering investment in digital content and other services. In July it announced it would cease printing its international edition.

That came after a landmark announcement from editor Alan Rusbridger and CEO Andrew Miller that detailed a new “digital first” direction for the company.

The company’s results in August showed that The Guardian had revenues of £255.1 million for the first half of this year. It is investing £25 million in expanding its digital operation, including a stronger presence in the U.S.

A statement from the Guardian sent to paidContent notes that the company has been seeing significantly more activity online from the kinds of readers that would have been the natural audience for the printed sections: the company says it now operates 11 “professional online networks” have have signed up close to 80,000 members in less than a year.

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