Research Shows Newspapers Are Strong in Pittsburgh

More than a million people in the greater Pittsburgh market read a daily paper — either in print or online — according to The Media Audit’s most recent survey. Of the 1.2 million adults who read a daily paper, 83 percent, or just a tad more than a million, read a hardcopy version.


Pittsburgh is an anomaly with 13 daily newspapers reaching slightly more than half the adults. The typical market, according Nick Miller, vice president media manager for The Media Audit, is eight to nine dailies with a combined reach of about 40 percent.

“The fact that there are so many papers with such great reach shows the papers are doing a great job serving their local markets,” Miller said. “People are interested in their hometown. That’s what they relate to and Pittsburgh’s papers clearly are covering those hometowns, local news and sports activities of interest. Newspaper America should be studying Pittsburgh.”

Pittsburgh is the 30th largest greater metropolitan area (GMA) with 2.2 million adults. Local daily papers reach 51 percent of that market. That number increases to 55 percent when national newspapers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today are included.

Women also represent the higher percentage of readers in the Pittsburgh market with 55 percent of all women reading the local dailies compared with 48 percent of all men. That skew is reflected among millennial women with 50 percent of millennial women reading the local dailies compared with 36 percent of millennial men.


“The female skew is good for newspapers,” Miller said. “Women are the purchasing agents in our society and advertisers want to reach and influence them.”

Slightly more than one million Pittsburgh adults read the hardcopy version of their local paper. The websites add about 200,000 or 14 percent of adults who don’t read the printed version. Media Audit asked specifically about active voters and sports bettors in its most recent survey in the fall. The voter question was due to the 2020 elections and bettors because sports betting was recently legalized in Pennsylvania. Hardcopy delivered 90 percent of the combined total reach for readers interested in those topics according to the survey results.

“Hardcopy is delivering the highest share of readers,” Miller said. “The Pittsburgh papers clearly know their market, what they want and how to deliver it.”

The survey is conducted twice yearly in Pittsburgh and panelists can only participate one time. There are 1,150 respondents per survey, 2,300 annually and they are demographically representative of the Pittsburgh GMA. All respondents are over 18 years old.

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