Survey: Publishers less optimistic about business

Nov 1, 2016

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-twenty five newspaper publishers and executives completed the 2016 Survey with 64 percent of respondents owning daily or daily/weekly newspapers and 36 percent owning primarily weekly publications.

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

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

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

The conclusion for this year’s survey is that publishers remain confident about future performance, but they 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.

For the full survey results, go to