Coronavirus-Driven Downturn Hits Newspapers Hard as TV News Thrives

Coronavirus-Driven Downturn Hits Newspapers Hard as TV News Thrives

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the news media, with newspapers particularly hard hit, a report from the Pew Research Center finds. The report, Coronavirus-Driven Downturn Hits Newspapers Hard as TV News Thrives (HTML or 25 pages, PDF), found that advertising and circulation revenue in the second quarter of 2020 for six major publicly traded newspaper companies that own more than three hundred daily papers fell by a median of 42 percent and 8 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. By contrast, ad revenue for Fox News Channel jumped 41 percent, while MSNBC and CNN saw declines in ad revenue of 14 percent and 27 percent and ad revenue for the nightly network news at ABC, CBS, and NBC increased 11 percent, with record numbers of viewers tuning in as the pandemic became a top story. Newspapers, which have been struggling with revenue declines for years, may be forced to cut expenses even further, the report notes, with all four of the companies that reported their compensation costs for the second quarter showing a median decline of 20 percentage points.

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