For newspaper stocks, 2012 was a surprisingly good year


Total revenues are not yet headed in the right direction, but investors still liked what they saw in the newspaper industry last year and bid up share prices accordingly.

Six of eight publicly traded companies showed gains for 2012; four of those were up 30 percent or more. The two companies that lost ground — Washington Post and A.H. Belo — were down just 3.1 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Lee showed the biggest percentage gain, up 62.9 percent, followed by McClatchy (36.8 percent), E.W. Scripps (35 percent) and Gannett (34.7 percent).

If you bought a bundle of newspaper stocks at the beginning of last year and sold Monday, you would likely have pocketed a 25 percent gain.

There is an element of paradox to these results. The industry continues to struggle with the basic problem of finding new sources of revenue to make up for continuing declines in print advertising. Print advertising was off by more than $1.1 billion through three quarters, compared to digital ad gains of just $58 million. Circulation and other revenue gains would improve that comparison but still not come close to making up the difference.

So what did investors like about the companies? Here are eight positives:

  1. Digital pay plans, combined with aggressive print price increases, are generating new circulation revenues. More than 400 of 1,350 daily papers now have implemented or plan some version of a digital paywall.
  2. On an operating basis, the great majority of papers are profitable. Only a handful have closed or reduced print frequency.
  3. While some of the companies struggle to make interest payments, pay down debt and fund pension obligations, these and other legacy costs became less threatening in the course of the year.
  4. Companies are showing good results from their investments in digital companies like CareerBuilder. Many have also launched promising digital/social marketing agencies for local businesses.
  5. Those companies with local TV operations (Gannett, Scripps, Washington Post, Journal Communications) had even better-than-expected revenue and profit gains in a banner year for political advertising.
  6. Sunday insert advertising, despite potential future shifts to mobile, held up well as newspapers have also been successful in stabilizing or improving Sunday circulation.
  7. An improving economy should boost continuing problem categories like real estate.
  8. 2012 was a positive year for the broader market with the S & P 500 up 13 percent.

Read More…

About Zoran Opalic

Professional in design and publishing industry. Conceptualize and orchestrate designs and redesigns that effectively reinforce and build brand images. Proven ability to drive record-high campaign in increasing publication sales and execute successful product launches...


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Aston Martin DB10

Production will be strictly limited to 10 of the bespoke sports cars, developed and built by the designers, engineers and highly skilled craftspeople at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters.

Architect Oscar Niemeyer

"My work is not about form follows function, but form follows beauty or, even better, form follows feminine."

BACK to BASICS: Portraits

Portraits of people are one of the first elements of the photography used in newspapers.

Typography: x-heigh

In typography, x-heigh refers to the heigh of lower case letters without upper or lower parts when compared to capital letters...

Designer George Lois

“I always knew I was the most talented kid in the school, ” says George Lois of his time at Music and Art. “I was lucky to be exposed to the city’s best art education"...


Newspaper typefaces require a higher legibility then typefaces used for other printed products. Newspaper are printed on a paper of lesser quality under high speed.

How to redesign 1

Good redesign is driven by a deep understanding of the editorial mission of the publication.

Headline on photographs

The eternal dilemma! Dilemma of all editors on the planet Earth – to put or not put the headline or any kind of type in the photo.

Design Facts

Three elements that will greatly help you to understand how readers are observing you.

Typeface: NY Times Magazine

Sunday Magazine is an expansive family of fonts for information in tiny spaces and headlines at large sizes.


When, why and whether to use infographic. The basic fact is that infographic refresh the publication, and it contributes to originality of your product.

A well-designed publication

Everything that a well-designed publication must have...



%d bloggers like this: