GB News posts £42m loss but grows online audience

The broadcaster files a pre-tax loss but says its online reach increased fivefold last year.
GB News posts £42m loss but grows online audience
Jacob Rees Mogg & Lee Anderson on GB NewsPA Media

GB News saw its losses jump nearly 40% over the last year but says it has grown its online audience fivefold.

Pre-tax losses at the broadcaster hit £42.4m for the year to the end of May 2023, up from £30.7m a year earlier.

It comes as Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV announced it would cease broadcasting as a traditional television channel in the summer and move solely online.

Last month, presenter Piers Morgan said he was taking his Uncensored show off TalkTV to focus on its YouTube channel.

TalkTV said smartphones were now the primary device where news is consumed.

Similarly, GB News also pointed to its digital audience, saying its online page views rose 431% to 51.9 million.

In comparison, it reached an average of 2.7 million viewers per month, up 17.8% on the year before, but that was only a 0.45% share of linear TV.

The channel, which routinely offers a platform to Conservative politicians including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, was on Monday reprimanded by the media regulator Ofcom.

It ruled that an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight broke broadcasting rules over comments made on the programme by the actor-turned-politician Laurence Fox about a female journalist, Ava Evans.

The regulator is also investigating the impartiality of the broadcaster following a programme featuring a Q&A session with the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Who’s behind GB News?

The company, which started broadcasting in 2021, is owned by All Perspectives Ltd, a holding company backed by hedge fund millionaire Sir Paul Marshall and investment firm Legatum, amongst others.

Sir Paul, speaking last year at a conference in London, was reported on GB News as hitting out at “woke capitalism” and “financial cronyism”.

While GB News almost doubled its revenue its income was still substantially lower than its losses, reaching £6.7m.

Owners including financier Sir Paul are continuing to plough millions into the fledging broadcaster.

Last year GB News received £41m from its parent company, taking the total it now owes it to £83.8m.

“The company has strong support from its investors and the directors have no reason to believe that the level of these contributions might vary to a significant degree or be recalled before the group has the resources to repay the investment,” GB News said in accounts filed to Companies House.

The business said that it had an average of 295 monthly employees during the year, with its wage, social security and pension bill totalling £21.2m, or around £72,000 per head.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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