Newspaper Publishers

Industry Profile Report

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

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, 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

                                Coronavirus Update

                                Apr 28, 2022 - Coverage Slips As Revenue Decreases
                                • The number of reporters who cover state capitols full-time for US newspapers has declined 34% since 2014, according to a new Pew Research Center study. The decrease in newspaper reporters covering the 50 state capitols comes amid a broader decline in newsroom employment at US newspapers, as well as sharp reductions in newspapers’ advertising and circulation revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. Newspapers continue to employ more full-time statehouse reporters than any other kind of news organization, according to the study.
                                • At least 100 US news organizations have closed during the pandemic, according to The Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Fourteen of the closed outlets have since resumed operations to varying extents. Another 42 organizations were absorbed by publications through mergers and acquisitions. This brings the number of news outlet eliminations up to 128. At least 6,154 news organization workers, which includes both editorial and non-editorial staffers, were laid off beginning March 2020 through August 2021.
                                • A hybrid model involving a mix of remote and office work appears to be the new reality for most newsrooms, according to industry experts. Just 9% of news organizations plan to require all of their employees to return to the office, according to a survey of news leaders by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. About 89% are developing more flexible workplaces. Alan Fisco, president of The Seattle Times, said that the shift to remote work was far better than newsroom leaders had expected. The company plans to offer a hybrid model where employees can essentially decide where they prefer to work.
                                • Engagement with news content plummeted year over year in 2021, according to the Axios news service. A drop in interest in news about COVID-19 was cited as a key driver of the decrease. The full-year drop in news engagement would have been even more dramatic were it not for the enormous amount of news traffic driven by the Capitol siege in January 2021.
                                • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is inching toward conclusion as 90% of two years’ worth of loans to small businesses nationwide have been forgiven. As of March 20, $708 billion has been forgiven, meaning that the recipients don’t have to repay the money, according to the latest data from the US Small Business Administration which manages PPP. Of that total, $209 billion — more than three-fourths, or 77% — of the $270.6 billion in PPP granted in 2021, the program’s second round — has been forgiven. That percentage stood at 63% in late December.
                                • Many of the newsrooms that have closed during the pandemic are weeklies in small communities, according to The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Analysts note, however, that the pandemic simply intensified an ongoing process. About 1,800 newspapers have closed in the United States since 2004, according to UNC professor Penny Abernathy About 1,700 of those closures were weeklies.
                                • About 87% of Americans are following coronavirus news fairly or very closely, but about 70% of respondents to a Pew Research survey said that they need to take breaks from it. Local news outlets are a major source of COVID-19 news for 46% of the public, while 36% say state and local elected officials are a major source for them.
                                • Some publishers with paywalled online versions of their newspapers have lifted paywalls during the coronavirus pandemic, both as a public service during the outbreak and with hopes that more readers will eventually become paying customers.
                                Get A Demo

                                Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                                See for yourself why nearly 40,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                                Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                                check out Vertical IQ today.

                                Request A Demo