Publisher Confidence Survey results positive for 2014

November 4, 2013

Although far from giddy, newspaper executives are optimistic

 

Responses to the Fall 2013 Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey point to a much stronger forecast from newspaper executives on the near-term future. One hundred and thirty newspaper publishers/executives completed the 2013 survey with more than 60 percent owning both daily and non-daily papers and the balance owning only non-dailies.

In particular is a strong decrease in executives who believe that the local economy in their markets is declining—down by more than half from 13 percent in 2012 to 6 percent in 2013, who believe their markets are down. Those who think their market economies are improving continued at 40 percent.

Executives who think next year’s bottom line will be higher than this year is up from 52 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2013; however, those who feel advertising revenues will be higher next year are down, from 51 percent to 47 percent.

Publishers are slightly more pessimistic on whether their bottom line will be better than in the past [before the recession] as the economy improves: 42 percent thought it would be better in 2012, down to 41 percent in 2013. Interestingly, respondents who think their bottom line will be worse than in the past have decreased significantly—from 33 percent in 2012 to 24 percent in 2013.

Other question responses are quite positive with “Would you consider buying a newspaper currently?” up substantially from 49 percent “yes” to 58 percent “yes.” “Is bank financing on reasonable terms available to you” also went up considerably, from 61 percent who said “yes” in 2012 to 70 percent in 2013.

Our “litmus test” question of “Would you recommend the newspaper business as a career for your children?” provides the most interesting perspective on how newspaper executives feel about this industry, and it is positive—72 percent of respondents said “yes” or “maybe” they would want their kids in newspapers, with 28 percent saying “no.”

Overall the results of the Survey indicate that publishers are feeling better about the near term future than they did in 2012. Full results of the Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey Fall 2013 can be found at www.cribb.com.

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