22 JANUARY 1972, Page 5

Better Guardian

The Guardian is now as big as, or bigger (and better) than, the Times, but both papers are losing money heavily. The Guardian's position is precarious. It is kept going by its share in the profits of the Manchester Evening News: but the provincial evening papers themselves are losing ground, as (according to editor Brian Redhead's likely explanation) people move out from the centres of the great cities, into the suburbs and villages beyond, and lose, among much else, the habit of buying the local evening. Provincial editors at Granada's Savoy lunch to present their What the Papers Say awards, exchanged cryptic remarks: "We're two point nine. "What are you?" "Three point six." The figures exchanged are percentage falls in circulation: none of them are rising.