Scott Trust Limited

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The Scott Trust Limited is the British company that owns Guardian Media Group and thus The Guardian and The Observer as well as various other media businesses in the UK. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_0

In 2008, it replaced the Scott Trust, which had owned The Guardian since 1936. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_1

The company is responsible for appointing the editor of The Guardian (and those of the group's other main newspapers) but, apart from enjoining them to continue the paper's editorial policy on "the same lines and in the same spirit as heretofore", it has a policy of not interfering in their decisions. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_2

The arrangement tends to give editors a long tenure: for example, the last incumbent, Alan Rusbridger, was there from 1995 until 2015. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_3

The current chair of the Scott Trust Board is Alex Graham, who replaced Liz Forgan in 2016. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_4

Other board members include the current editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, Guardian finance editor Nils Pratley who is the journalist director of the board, and one member of the Scott family. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_5

The Scott Trust is a limited partner in GMG Ventures LP, founded in 2017, according to the GMG 2018 annual report, "this £42m venture capital fund is designed to contribute financial returns and to support GMG’s strategy by investing in early stage businesses focused on developing the next generation of media technology". Scott Trust Limited_sentence_6

History Scott Trust Limited_section_0

1936–1948 Scott Trust Limited_section_1

The Trust was established in 1936 by John Scott, owner of the Manchester Guardian (as it then was) and the Manchester Evening News. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_7

After the deaths in quick succession of his father C. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_8 P. Scott and brother Edward, and consequent threat of death duties, John Scott wished to prevent future death duties forcing the closure or sale of the newspapers, and to protect the liberal editorial line of the Guardian from interference by future proprietors. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_9

The first and only Chairman of the first Trust was John Scott. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_10

1948–2008 Scott Trust Limited_section_2

The Trust was dissolved and reformed in 1948, as it was thought that the Trust, under the terms of the original Trust Deed, had become liable to tax due to changes in the law. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_11

At this time John Scott also gave up his exclusive right to appoint trustees; the trustees would henceforth appoint new members themselves. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_12

Five months after the signing of the new Trust Deed, John Scott died. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_13

After three years of legal argument, the Inland Revenue gave up its claim for death duty. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_14

The eight initial trustees of the 1948 Trust were all connected with the Manchester Guardian and Evening News, Ltd., and included four of C. P. Scott's grandsons as well as the then editor of the Guardian, A. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_15 P. Wadsworth. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_16

It has become normal practice for a Guardian journalist to be a member of the trust, though he or she is not considered to be a "representative" of the staff, as this may result in a conflict of interests. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_17

In 1992, the Trust identified its central objective as being the following: Scott Trust Limited_sentence_18

Scott Trust Limited_description_list_0

  • "To secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity: as a quality national newspaper without party affiliation; remaining faithful to its liberal tradition; as a profit-seeking enterprise managed in an efficient and cost-effective manner."Scott Trust Limited_item_0_0

The Trust saw its main functions as being the following: Scott Trust Limited_sentence_19

Scott Trust Limited_unordered_list_1

  • "To secure the Trust's own continuity by renewing its membership and by dealing with threats to its existenceScott Trust Limited_item_1_1
  • To monitor the organisation, financial management and overall strategy of the Group, holding the Board accountable for its performanceScott Trust Limited_item_1_2
  • To appoint and 'in extreme circumstances' to dismiss the editors of The Guardian, the Manchester Evening News (and The Observer after its acquisition in 1993)Scott Trust Limited_item_1_3
  • To act as a 'court of appeal' in the event of any dispute between the editorial and managerial sides of the operation."Scott Trust Limited_item_1_4

The second Trust had five Chairmen over its 60 years: Alfred Powell Wadsworth (1948–56), Richard Farquhar Scott (1956–84), Alastair Hetherington (1984–89), Hugo Young (1990–2003) and Liz Forgan. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_20

The Scott Trust Limited: 2008–present Scott Trust Limited_section_3

In October 2008 it was announced that the trust was being wound up and its assets transferred to a new limited company named "The Scott Trust Limited" to strengthen the protection it offers to the Guardian and because [l]ike all non-charitable trusts, and unlike limited companies, the Scott Trust has a finite lifespan. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_21

The core purpose of the Trust was enshrined in the constitution of the Limited company and "cannot be altered or amended." Scott Trust Limited_sentence_22

The new company is barred from paying dividends, and "its constitution has been carefully drafted to ensure that no individual can ever personally benefit from the arrangements." Scott Trust Limited_sentence_23

In February 2010, the company announced the sale of its GMG Regional Media arm and its regional print titles to the Trinity Mirror Group. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_24

The regional titles comprised the Manchester Evening News and 31 others in the North West and South of England. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_25

The sale was finalised on 28 March 2010 and ended the Scott Trust's association with regional newspapers. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_26

Guardian News and Media, a subsidiary of the Scott Trust Limited, reported a loss of £30.9 million for the year to the end of April 2013. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_27

The company via the Guardian Media Group (GMG, a subsidiary company) completed the sale for £619 million of its 50.1% stake in Auto Trader on 4 March 2014. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_28

Apax Partners, a venture capital firm, increased its share to become the sole shareholder in the business. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_29

The £619 million earned from the sale of Auto Trader adds to the £253.7 million of cash and investments which GMG published in its 2013 annual report. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_30

This leaves an investment fund which is likely to be in excess of £850 million to underwrite Guardian losses. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_31

In December 2014, it was announced that Alan Rusbridger, then Guardian editor-in-chief, would succeed Forgan as the Chairman of the company in 2016 but he unexpectedly announced on 13 May 2016 his resignation as a director. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_32

As of January 2016 the company's funds were £740m, down from £838.3m in July 2015. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_33

As of 1 April 2018, the value of the Scott Trust Endowment Fund was £1.01 billion, down slightly from £1.03bn in 2017. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_34

Governance Scott Trust Limited_section_4

The Scott Trust Limited is governed according to the articles of association, set up in 2008 and filed at Companies House. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_35

The articles say that the board of directors must guard editorial independence. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_36

The board appoints itself under article 63, through an appointments committee. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_37

Neither workers at the newspapers nor readers participate in voting for board members. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_38

Such voting could be allowed with 75% approval of the existing board of directors under article 7. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_39

The Scott Trust Board Scott Trust Limited_section_5

Current members Scott Trust Limited_section_6

Scott Trust Limited_table_general_0

NameScott Trust Limited_header_cell_0_0_0 JoinedScott Trust Limited_header_cell_0_0_1 PositionScott Trust Limited_header_cell_0_0_2
Alex GrahamScott Trust Limited_cell_0_1_0 January 2013Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_1_1 Chair of the Scott Trust Limited board (2016 – present)Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_1_2
Katharine VinerScott Trust Limited_cell_0_2_0 June 2015Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_2_1 Editor-in-chief, Guardian News and Media (June 2015 – present)Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_2_2
Annette ThomasScott Trust Limited_cell_0_3_0 March 2020Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_3_1 Chief executive officer, Guardian Media Group (March 2020 – present)Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_3_2
Emily BellScott Trust Limited_cell_0_4_0 January 2013Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_4_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_4_2
Catherine HowarthScott Trust Limited_cell_0_5_0 2015Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_5_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_5_2
Will HuttonScott Trust Limited_cell_0_6_0 2004Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_6_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_6_2
Stuart ProffittScott Trust Limited_cell_0_7_0 2015Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_7_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_7_2
Anthony SalzScott Trust Limited_cell_0_8_0 2009Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_8_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_8_2
Vivian SchillerScott Trust Limited_cell_0_9_0 2015Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_9_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_9_2
Russell ScottScott Trust Limited_cell_0_10_0 2015Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_10_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_10_2
Ole Jacob SundeScott Trust Limited_cell_0_11_0 2015Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_11_1 Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_11_2
Nils PratleyScott Trust Limited_cell_0_12_0 2016Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_12_1 Journalist director of the Scott Trust Limited board (2016 – present)Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_12_2
David OlusogaScott Trust Limited_cell_0_13_0 June 2018Scott Trust Limited_cell_0_13_1 Historian, had also been writing for GuardianScott Trust Limited_cell_0_13_2

Past members Scott Trust Limited_section_7

Scott Trust Limited_table_general_1

NameScott Trust Limited_header_cell_1_0_0 PositionScott Trust Limited_header_cell_1_0_1
Liz ForganScott Trust Limited_cell_1_1_0 Chair of the Scott Trust (2003 – 2008)

Chair of Scott Trust Limited (2008 – 2016)Scott Trust Limited_cell_1_1_1

Hugo YoungScott Trust Limited_cell_1_2_0 Chair of the Scott Trust (1989 – 2003)Scott Trust Limited_cell_1_2_1
Philip Mark TranterScott Trust Limited_cell_1_3_0 Company Secretary (2012 – 2017)Scott Trust Limited_cell_1_3_1
David PemselScott Trust Limited_cell_1_4_0 Chief executive office, Guardian Media Group (June 2015 - January 2020)Scott Trust Limited_cell_1_4_1
Heather StewartScott Trust Limited_cell_1_5_0 Director, (September 2011 - March 2016)Scott Trust Limited_cell_1_5_1

The Guardian Foundation Scott Trust Limited_section_8

Besides the GMG businesses, the company has a charitable wing: The Guardian Foundation led by Executive Director . Scott Trust Limited_sentence_40

The Guardian Foundation is an independent charity which supports media under threat, promotes diversity in the media and empowers children and young people to engage with the news. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_41

Their vision is a world where all people can tell their stories, access the truth and hold power to account. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_42

The organisation aims to increase access to the media for everyone. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_43

They believe a free press is crucial to a functioning democracy; that everyone should be able to get their voice heard and engage with the media they consume; and in order for the media to hold power to account it must be made up of representative journalists. Scott Trust Limited_sentence_44

Programmes Scott Trust Limited_sentence_45

Scott Trust Limited_unordered_list_2

  • International capacity building programme for independent media under threat: employing and sharing the skills of experienced journalists and media professionals;Scott Trust Limited_item_2_5
  • The Scott Trust Bursary Scheme: enabling young journalism students from under-represented backgrounds to study for a postgraduate qualification and gain work experience at the Guardian;Scott Trust Limited_item_2_6
  • The Guardian Education Centre: runs news media workshops at the Guardian office for schools, universities, teachers and families;Scott Trust Limited_item_2_7
  • NewsWise: teach primary school children (aged 9-11) how news is made, how to critically navigate news, and ultimately how to create their own news reports, in their own words, and to have a voice in their own communities;Scott Trust Limited_item_2_8
  • The Guardian Archive: preserving the history of the Guardian;Scott Trust Limited_item_2_9
  • The annual Hugo Young Award: Rewarding the best of young and diverse journalism. Founding partner for the European Press Prize.Scott Trust Limited_item_2_10
  • The Guardian Foundation is involved in delivering the Refugee Journalism Project which aims to support refugee and exiled journalists to re-start their careers in the UK.Scott Trust Limited_item_2_11

Registered Charity number is 1153865 Scott Trust Limited_sentence_46


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott Trust Limited.