The Death of Print: Why Newspapers are Folding
October 25, 2011
By: Chris Kramer
Many US newspapers have been grappling with declining circulation, a loss of readership, and a steep drop in print advertising revenue. As a result, some of the nation's largest publishers wound up filing for bankruptcy and stopped the presses for good.
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The Death of Print
Why Newspapers are Folding
Print sales in Q1 2011 were only 45% of the revenues produced by the industry in the first quarter of 2006:
- Q1 2006: $10.5B
- Q1 2011: $4.7B
Audiences Turn to the Web
US Percentages Change in Audience, 2009-2010
- Online: +17.1%
- Local TV: -1.5%
- Network: -3.4%
- Newspaper: -5.0%
- Audio: -6.0%
- Magazine: -8.9%
- Cable: -13.7%
By the Numbers
US Percentages as of July 2011
- 47%: Almost half of all American adults get at least some of their news by cell phone or tablet.
- 84% own a cell phone and/or tablet computer
- 13% of people with cell phone or tablets have a local news app
- 62% of newspapers with 25,000+ in circulation have mobile apps (21% of smaller papers have apps)
- 59% of all newspapers do not have mobile apps, but plan to add them within a year
Daily and Sunday US newspaper, as % of households, 1940-2010, and selected public policy events relating to media ownership in the USA since 1940
- 1944: FCC rejects a rule barring newspaper ownership of radio. Circulation: 128% Daily, 108% Sunday
- 1969: VP Agnew attacks media "monopolization" and "centralization". Circulation: 100% Daily, 77% Sunday
- 1975: FCC adopts newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule. Circulation: 86% Daily, 71% Sunday
- 2003: FCC tries, but fails, to modify cross-ownership rule. Circulation: 50% Daily, 52% Sunday
- 2007: FCC tries to modify cross-ownership rule in 20 largest markets. Circulation: 44% Daily, 45% Sunday
FCC: Federal Communications Commission. It regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.
Media cross-ownership refers to the ownership of more than one media businesses (newspaper, broadcast and cable television, radio, book publishing, video games, and various online entities) by a person or corporation. The rules that regulate the concentration of media ownership were changed over the years.
Six Big US National Newspapers. From 2008 to 2009
- San Francisco Chronicle: -26%
- Dallas Morning: -22%
- USA Today: -17%
- LA Times: -11%
- NY Times: -7%
- Washington Post: -6%
As of 22nd March 2010
- Tribune Co.: Waiting Reorganization Plan. Owed $13 Billion.
- Media News Group: Discharged. Owed $930 Million. Trimmed 82.3% of its debt
- Freedom Communications: Waiting Prepack OK. Owed $770 Million.
- Journal Register: Discharged. Owed $692 Million. Trimmed 67.5% of its debt
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: Discharged. Owed $480 Million. Trimmed 79.2% of its debt
- Philadelphia Newspapers: Arguing terms. Owed $400 Million.
- Morris Publishing Group: Discharged. Owed $415 Million. Trimmed 69.3% of its debt
- Heartlands Publications: In Process. Owed $166 Million.
- Sun-Times Media Group: Discharged/Sold. No debt but projected operating loss in 2009 was 3.8x greater than cash in hand.
25th May 2001 - 25th May 2010
- NYT: -81.84$
- NYSE:WPO: -30.39%
- GCI: -78.50%
This infographic was published by Total Bankruptcy.