U.S. Daily Newspaper Circ Dips 10% In 2017

Total estimated advertising revenue for the newspaper industry in 2017 was $16.5 billion, a 10% decrease from 2016, according to the Pew Research Center analysis of Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) data. 



That number is based on the Pew’s analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. Digital advertising accounted for 31% of newspaper advertising revenue in 2017; in 2016, it accounted for 29%.

The estimated U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2017 was 31 million for weekday and 34 million for Sunday, down 11% and 10%, respectively, from the previous year.

However, total estimated circulation revenue was $11 billion, a 3% increase from 2016.

Monthly unique visitors (across all devices) to the top 50 U.S. daily newspapers remained flat at 11.5 million monthly unique visitors, per circulation data from comScore.

Alt-weekly newspapers have had a tough time keeping up with the changes in the industry.

Pew found average circulation for the top 20 U.S. alt-weekly newspapers is just over 55,000, a 10% decline from 2016, according to data from AAM, Verified Audit Circulation, Circulation Verification Council and independently produced reports.

About 39,210 people worked as reporters, editors, photographers or film and video editors in the newspaper industry in 2017, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics data. That is down 15% from 2014. 

Median wages in 2017 were about $49,000 for newspaper editors and about $34,000 for newspaper reporters.

Pew has issued an annual report on the state of the U.S. news media industry since 2004. Last year, instead of a single report, Pew produced an annual series of digestible fact sheets rolled out over a few months.

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