The Short- and Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 to News Publishers

In an uncertain and rapidly evolving landscape, news media companies are facing daunting new challenges in a sector that was already under significant pressure. Publishers must act now to protect employees with the basic instinct of running toward the fire, to prepare for business and operational obstacles while continuing to serve their communities.

Some challenges can be expected, many will not.

Advertising declines accelerate 2x in last two weeks

In the United States, newspapers are generally seeing a range of 20% to 30% (outliers as high as 50%) year-over-year declines in total advertising revenues in just the last couple of weeks. If the Great Recession is any guidepost (see graph below), print advertising will likely see a more detrimental impact from reduced advertising spend in the next 18 months than other mediums.

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