Newspaper Publishers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 4,200 newspaper publishers in the US produce and distribute news and other content in print or electronic form. Firms earn revenue primarily from selling advertising space and subscriptions. Large firms may operate as media conglomerates and publish or broadcast content across multiple platforms, including electronic media, magazines, television, or radio. Large firms may own multiple newspapers across the country; some operate internationally.

Competition for Ad Dollars

In the increasingly fragmented world of media, newspapers compete for advertising dollars with a variety of alternative sources, including TV, magazines, direct mail, radio, the Internet and billboards.

Long Decline for Traditional Print Business

The newspaper publishing industry has been in long-term decline, driven by the rise of the Internet and digital media.

Industry size & Structure

The average newspaper publisher operates out of a single location, employs 26 workers, and generates about $5-6 million annually.

    • The newspaper publishing industry consists of about 4,000 firms that employ about 105,000 workers and generate $23 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for 74% of industry revenue.
    • The industry includes national publications, market-level publications, and community newspapers.
    • Large companies include News Corporation (Wall Street Journal, New York Post), Gannett (USA Today, Detroit Free Press), Advance Publications (Star Ledger, Cleveland Plain Dealer), McClatchy Company (Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee), and the New York Times.
    • The top daily newspapers (based on circulation) include the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Post.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Newspaper Publishers Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                May 20, 2024 - Increasing Personal Expenditures may Boost Sales
                                • Personal consumption expenditures, an indicator of demand for newspapers, increased slightly during the first quarter of 2024, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Newspaper publishing industry employment and wages for nonsupervisory employees decreased slightly during the first quarter of 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
                                • Nearly half of US residents who don’t pay for local news cite its free availability elsewhere as the main reason, according to a Pew-Knight Initiative survey. Only 15% of the survey respondents said that they had paid for local news in the past year, approximately the same proportion as in 2018. A third of the non-payers said they were simply not interested enough in local news to pay for it in the first place.
                                • Major news organizations started 2024 with significant newsroom layoffs, according to CNN. The Los Angeles Times reduced its newsroom staff count by more than 20% in January; TIME cut dozens of staffers during the month, and Business Insider said it would trim its workforce by 8%. Hundreds of staffers at Condé Nast, Forbes, The New York Daily News, and others staged walkouts to protest planned cuts at the outlets. The latest round of layoffs come after 2023 marked the worst year for job cuts in the journalism sector since 2020, when roughly 2,700 jobs were eliminated.
                                • The News Media Alliance (NMA), a trade group that represents newspapers, says that artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like ChatGPT use news articles to power the technology significantly more than they use generic online content. The NMA released research in October which it said showed that AI chatbots rely more heavily on news articles and that chatbots reproduce sections of some articles in their responses. The group argued that the findings show that AI companies violate copyright law.
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