Ref NoOHP/110
TitleJim Markwick
Date22 July 2002
Extent3 minidiscs, 3 cds, 1 file, 6 AIFF files and 1 WAV file (2.09 GB)
Creator NameMarkwick; James Charles; chief executive, Guardian Media Group
DescriptionInterview with Jim Markwick, chief executive, Guardian Media Group. Conducted by Brian Whitaker on 22 July 2002. Also includes a data sheet containing biographical details about the subject and information about the recording and notes made after the interview.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1*
01.10 Family involved with newspapers since 1890
01.10 Father worked for the Manchester Guardian, 'newspapers in his blood'
01.10 After reading law at Oxford takes management job with Bowaters, suppliers of newsprint to the Guardian
02.28 Laurence Scott offers him job as assistant company secretary
02.28 The 1948 Scott Trust reform which solved the inheritance duties issues
03.50 May 1, 1961 starts as assistant company secretary at Manchester Guardian
04.44 Describes how the MEN/Guardian ran as one entity
04.44 Profits of £300,000 were regarded as tremendous, brought in substantially by the Evening News
07.30 London printing discussed - talks of the Manchester Guardian becoming a national paper
09.50 Research into producing papers by facsimile

12.24 How the move to London eventually worked
14.20 How the NPA (Newspaper Publishers' Association) operated and how the Guardian needed to join the cartel
16.11 The Guardian was told by NPA to pay its contribution to Reuters
18.06 Became the owner of three and a half per cent of Reuters - by the flotation it became £50m
18.45 Leased presses from Sunday Times - taught how to run a printing operation

20.24 Facsimile or TTS - discusses union issues. Decided against facsimile - too controversial
27.10 Pay rates for composing room and what the Guardian was paying for
27.10 London printing was running into difficulties

32.57 Aug/Sept1963 asked by Scott to move to New York to build the Guardian Weekly

41.15 Arrives in New York in January 1964 in a snowstorm
41.15 No Guardian journalists in New York, so he starts his career by covering the UN
42.00 Describes time in New York - three years of enormous fun
48.58 1967 returns to London where everything had gone 'belly-up', serious shortfall in ad revenue

50.29 Guardian at risk, November 1966 'things looked very dicey' - redundancies
53.37 Decision to reform into parent board with two subsides - Guardian and MEN
53.37 After this, slowly but surely the staff would move to London
57.33 1969 returns from studying at Harvard

Disc 2:
Track 1
00.07 1971/72 becomes general manager in London. Good team, things going better
00.40 Remembers Harvey Thompson, production manager. 'Old Guardian man' who later became production director at The Times
00.55 Remembers colleagues Gerry Taylor, investment director, Michael Jack, circulation director, and Peter Gibbons, managing director
01.45 Guardian became national newspaper
02.21 Discussions on printing arrangements with Thomson
04.00 Becoming general manager
04.45 1976 committee
05.30 Finances
05.45 Maintaining the Guardian's position
07.25 Printing deal

10.00 Producing in Manchester and London
10.44 November 1974 found 119 Farringdon Road. Technology arguments
15.18 Moved to teletypesetting (TTS)
17.55 August 1976, Farringdon Road opens
18.35 Gaining printing independence
19.20 Setting up own hot metal printing

Track 2
00.55 Regularly attended National Press Association (NPA) meetings
03.00 Agreement to print in Gray's Inn Road
05.00 Rumours about moving printing

Track 3
00.10 Trade unions and talks of disagreements, corruption and unreasonableness
02.00 Machine rooms
06.50 Competition between newspapers in London
07.30 Rupert Murdoch
09.00 New Years day when the Guardian was the only newspaper to produce

10.31 Times when money went into brown envelopes and management didn't know how it was divvied up
11.30 False names. Wages uncollected
15.35 Getting a paper out on time became difficult
16.00 Problems around production of newspapers in the late 1970s
17.20 Everything by the time of the Times suspension was a mess
17.55 The Times stoppage did the Guardian a good turn

Disc 3:
Track 1
00.05 Sympathy with union leaders some of whom had their health destroyed
05.22 The NUJ came to the fore early in the 1970s
05.22 Idea of a four-day week
06.30 Decline in number of journalists
07.30 Alastair Hetherington. Deeply puritan

10.00 The Guardian starting the four-day week, c1974
13.30 NUJ gaining political strength
14.36 NUJ insisting that journalists serve their apprenticeship in the regions
17.35 Many journalists at the newspaper were graduates
18.00 Dumbing down of union agenda
19.28 Problems with the NUJ flat-rate increases
19.55 Arrival of the Independent

20.18 NUJ negotiations
29.00 Dispute procedures dependent on how corporate you are

33.00 Misunderstandings in negotiations

44.36 Where does the power lie? The commercial leaders, the Board, the Trust? Discusses the pros and cons

Track 2
02.45 Elected to stand for parliament for the Conservatives - failed to win seat
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Jim Markwick

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