Study: Publisher confidence is up sharply in 2012

Nov 28, 2012

By John Cribb
President | Cribb, Green & Associates
Responses to the Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey Fall 2012 seem to point to much stronger positive forecasts from newspaper executives on the near-term future.
One hundred and eight newspaper publishers/executives completed the 2012 survey with a little more than half owning both daily and non-daily papers and the balance owning only non-dailies.
In particular is a strong increase in executives who believe that the local economy in their markets is improving—up from 14 percent in 2011 to more than 40 percent in 2012 who believe their markets are up. Those who think their market economies are declining went from 26 percent in 2011 down to 13 percent in 2012. The results of this question appear to indicate that publishers believe their economic situation is improving significantly.
Also up are executives who think next year’s bottom line will be higher than this year—from 39 percent in 2011 to 52 percent in 2012; and those who feel advertising revenue will be higher in 2013—up from 38 percent in 2011 to 51 percent in 2012.
But publishers are more pessimistic on whether their bottom line will be better than in the past—before the recession—as the economy improves—46 percent thought it would be better in 2011, down to 42 percent in 2012. In 2012, 33 percent think their bottom line will be worse than in the past.
Other question responses tended to be positive with “Would you consider buying a newspaper currently?”—up slightly from 46 percent “yes” to 49 percent “yes.” However, a little more than half of the respondents would not currently purchase a newspaper.
Our “litmus test” question of “Would you recommend the newspaper business as a career for your children?”—also went up somewhat, from 32 percent “yes” in 2011 to 35 percent “yes” in 2012. Publishers who said “yes” or “maybe” they would make this recommendation are at 69 percent this year, up from 62 percent in 2011, and those who would not want their children in the newspaper industry dropped from 38 percent to 31 percent.
Overall, the results of the survey indicate that publishers are feeling better about the near-term future than they did in 2011. Full results of the Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey are available at