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.