Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pew Research: On Newspaper Audience, Economics, News Investment, Ownership

A Pew Research paper on the media and news includes an overview on newspapers in its 2014 report.

A 3% circulation increase was due to "liberalized reporting rules" by the Association for Audited Media (AAM) which counted "both paying visitors to digital platforms and distribution of Sunday insert packages to nonsubscribers." In other words, nobody has a clue about how newspapers are doing in terms of circulation compared to 2013 and before. As if to underline the point when a search of state papers is done on the AAM total circulation page the answer for every state is "Results Found: 0"*.

Print accounts for 71.2% of daily circulation. Of the 15 largest newspapers only 54.9% of their circulation is print.

Newspaper revenue has declined 52% from 2003 to 2012. In 2012 revenue was $22 billion. Though digital advertising grew 300%, the latest total is only $3.4 billion. That revenues continue to decline is shown by Gannett's 6% decline in 2013.

Circulation revenue was up 5% in 2012 and is expected to stay the same or increase by less than 5% in 2013. Paywalls mostly gain in the first year "with revenues flattening in following years."

News Investment
In 2012 full-time professional newsroom employment dropped 6.4% (2,600 jobs). That makes a 33.2% (38,000 jobs) drop from the 1989 high of 56,000 jobs. More job losses are likely to be noted in the 2013 American Society of News Editors annual census. Some individual newspaper losses:
"Gannett is estimated to have cut about 400 newspaper jobs while the Tribune Co. announced about 700 cuts, not all of them in the newsroom. Media reports put newsroom layoffs at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland at about 50 and at The Oregonian in Portland at about 35 in 2013."
Multi-millionaires are buying newspapers:

Red Sox owner John Henry - The Boston Globe
Amazon's Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post
Warren Buffett - varous
*Why AAM still has the page up is anyone's guess.


MAX Redline said...

You might find this of interest as well, TD:

The Oregonian seems well on its way to the drain.

T. D. said...

Thanks for the link, Max!

I can't help but wonder if the "click" system is really that much worse than the Oregonian's bias for so many years in mercilessly attacking small fish like Sizemore and Al French all the while covering for the outrageous conduct of big fish like Goldschmidt, Packwood and Sam Adams. Someone else had to break those (and many other) stories.