Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Report: smaller newspapers positioned to survive longer

Smaller is better, according to a report published today by Leena Rao.

More bad news for large newspapers. According to the latest stats from the Inland Press Association, larger newspapers with higher circulations are suffering more than their smaller siblings. Newspaper veteran Alan Mutter reports that the bigger the newspapers are, the more their profits decreased over the past five years. Since 2004, operating profits on average fell just over 100% at newspapers with circulation higher than 80,000. That’s right. Taken all together, their losses wiped out their profits.

The Inland Press surveyed 120 papers across the country. Newspapers with circulations of less than 15,000 fared better, with ad revenues actually eking out a 4.3% increase over the same period. But operating profits still fell by nearly 65%. This drop isn’t nearly as staggering as the plummet of profits for newspapers with an 80,000-plus circulation, but it’s not a cause for celebration either. Newspapers with 50,000-80,000 in circulation saw profits fall 83%, with newspapers with circulations of 25,000 to 50,000 seeing a 90 percent drop in profit.

Another sign of hope: small papers still have a hold on classifieds. Average classified sales for small papers have actually gone up, at a time when they have been
declining for most papers...

Hat tip: comments

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think some bloggers questioned the Inland Press Association about their stats, and they are in the process of making some changes.

@Poynter Online
Inland Press Association revises newspaper profitability study results Reflections of a Newsosaur
The original findings, which were questioned by Romenesko readers, said newspapers with circulation greater than 80,000 suffered a 100.1% drop in operating earnings since 2004 but that they had average profits of 12% in 2008. Here is the updated report.