Newspapers’ surprising improvement in revenue

Several newspapers across the country have managed to increase their revenue during a time of journalistic uncertainty thanks to some mild restructuring.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that four newspapers turned innovative ideas into positive financial improvement. Newspapers across the globe have struggled to create a new form of revenue during the new media age. These four papers were faced with termination because of profit losses, but they each created new ways to restructure their business plan and increase revenue. The search for business success was spurred by an ongoing search for a new business model for newspapers, also conducted by Pew.

The Naples (Fla.) Daily News found protecting print revenue was a large factor in the newspapers overall success. The management team renovated the sales department and its basic philosophy.

The Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat developed a media lab to provide a full range of online marketing. This lab was responsible for about 25 percent of the paper’s revenue increase.

The (Utah) Deseret News revamped their media content, created a more narrow editorial identity and began a weekly national print edition.

The Columbia (Tenn.) Daily Herald unveiled nearly a dozen new media ideas, mostly in regards to their digital content but some with print.

After extensive interviews with the editors of these respective newspapers, Pew compiled a few effective changes these companies implemented. Most of the organizations agreed that a strong digital-first approach was necessary to compete with the changing world market. They also found that an emphasis on the editorial content itself and each newspaper’s identity within the media world created more quality, focused news.

How strongly do news organizations need to focus on the revenue of their business? Can newspapers make up for print losses through their media content? Should other newspapers follow the examples of these four?

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One Comment on “Newspapers’ surprising improvement in revenue”

  1. Benjamin Wolk says:

    It’s nice to see numbers like these in a society that claims journalism is a “dying profession.” Everyone will always be searching for news, and though there are many outlets for “news” nowadays, people always feel more comfortable finding information from credible networks. To see these newspapers succeed suggests that tweaking a few strategies can help keep the industry alive.


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