When the fate of some newspapers is to disappear for good Guardian News & Media’s decision to pare down The Observer to four sections rather than close it outright was clearly a tough one in this climate, but it makes a lot of sense and it should be congratulated.
As reported last night The Observer will shrink from seven to four sections having been under threat of closure since August. Its sport, music and Woman monthly magazines will close and there will be some redundancies.
Guardian News & Media said it will fold the business and personal finance sections into the main paper, and the travel section into the Observer Magazine. Only Observer Food Monthly will survive the magazine cull.
Hopefully the resulting newspaper will be smaller, but perfectly formed. Besides, I’d rather have a paper like the Observer on Sunday or frankly The Guardian that doesn’t suffer from over publishing that to my mind afflicts some Sunday newspapers where I am left asking “what is the point of this section – could you remind me (other than to recycle”.
Paring The Observer down to the bare essentials described above still makes it a better paper than the Independent on Sunday (it is still publishing, right?) and The Sunday Times, which is a paper that can be best described as: “used to be pretty good”.
The best Sunday paper is still the Guardian on Saturday as like a trip to Parisa it’s a two day affair.
It is a shame about the magazines as the Observer team did a great job producing them, but again there was always the nagging question in my mind as to whether that was what it should have been spending its money on. Yes they were good, but I was never sure whether they belonged in a Sunday newspaper (that could just be me, it is not unknown). The food mag is awesome though and I’m glad to see that continue.
I could say more, but really I’m glad to see the paper continue.