Responses to the Fall 2016 Publisher Confidence Survey indicate publishers continue to be encouraged about the short term future, but are not as confident as they were a year ago. One hundred and twenty-five newspaper publishers/executives completed the 2016 Survey with 64% of respondents owning daily or daily/weekly newspapers and 36% owning primarily weekly publications.

Sixty percent of respondents continue to be interested in buying a newspaper and 65% might-or-would recommend their children seek a newspaper career, however both of these categories are down from 2015. In 2015, 75% said they might or would suggest newspapers as a career.

The percentage of publishers who think their local economy is improving is 36%, which is down from 40% in 2015 and from 50% in 2014. Nearly half (49%) feel their local economy is staying about the same.

Publishers who feel their profit will be up next year dropped to 41% compared with 48% in 2015 and 51% in 2014. The target for digital advertising as a percentage of total advertising has increased, with 49% of respondents saying they want to have 0%-10% of advertising in digital, and 41% saying they look for 10% to 20%.

The conclusion for this year’s Survey is that publishers remain confident about future performance - but are not as confident as they were last year.  Although difficult to quantify, the presidential election upheaval may be a factor in reducing confidence levels. See individual responses below.

Published October 17, 2016


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#1: Is your newspaper company primarily daily frequency (5 days or more each week), non-daily or a combination?

#2: Do you think the local economy(s) in your publication market(s) is/are improving, decling or about the same as last year?

#3: Next year (2017) do you believe your bottom line will be up, down or about the same as this year?

#4: As your local economy continues to improve, do you think your bottom line will be better than it was before the downturn, worse or about the same?

#5: Next year (2017) do you believe your total advertising revenues will be up, down or about the same as this year?