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Letter from the publisher

The Art Newspaper Group will emerge as a stronger organisation once Covid-19 related health concerns subside, says its publisher Inna Bazhenova

© The Art Newspaper

The Art Newspaper Group, like the vast majority of other professional players in the art world, has been affected by the dramatic shutdown of the global art market in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the cancellation of the museum, gallery and art world events that we traditionally thrive on. This has certainly placed a real strain on the revenues derived from our current advertising model, but our coverage has never been in greater demand or more widely appreciated.

Despite this adverse market environment, I am delighted that the teams at our head office, based in London and New York, have managed to adapt quickly to meet the new challenges. Not only have they continued to produce the monthly International print edition, but they have also increased our digital content and our digital delivery over multiple channels. Over the past two months The Art Newspaper Group as a whole, which also comprises sister papers in Russia, France and China, has launched a number of new digital initiatives. In a sense, this global crisis has accelerated the strategic changes that we had been introducing over the past few years.

As part of our strategy to make our working practices more flexible, The Art Newspaper was quick to test and implement remote working procedures. This allowed us to speedily transfer our operations to the new home-working environment, without any adverse effect on our advertising clients or subscribers.

Focusing on staff safety and well-being has been a top priority for the senior management during these times. We have made a great effort to retain as many staff in full time employment as possible. Where retention was temporarily not possible, we made sure that our furloughed colleagues are receiving the same amount of compensation and benefits as their original salaries.

As the publisher of The Art Newspaper, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the UK and US governments for the efficient implementation and generous support measures for small businesses like our own. This prompt financial and policy support has been vital in allowing us to secure jobs and guarantee salary levels across our US and UK subsidiaries.

I am a strong believer that any crisis creates opportunities and I feel that The Art Newspaper Group has so far managed to show resilience and at the same time forge a way ahead. Provided that Covid-19 related health concerns subside in the foreseeable future, we will certainly emerge as a stronger organisation with a product that is aligned to the developing needs of our readers and the realities of an integrated print and digital news economy.