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Mid and small market newspaper executives continue to be optimistic about their future financial performance, local market economies and the newspaper industry in general.

Cribb, Greene & Associates has released the Publisher Confidence Survey Fall 2010 with results that indicate newspaper executives are bullish on revenue and profits in the coming year.

Fifty one percent (51%) of executives polled believe their advertising revenues will be up in 2011 and 35% more think they will be about the same as this year. However, this is down from the Survey last spring that showed 71% believing revenues would be up.  Fourteen percent (14%) think next year's ad revenues will be down.

Most newspapers believe their local market economies are improving or stable (86%); half say their profits will be up in 2011 (50%); and with an improving economy feel their profit margin will be the same or better than in the past (67%). However, a substantial number of respondents - 33% - think their profit margin will be lower than it was prior to the economic downturn.

In a change from responses in last spring's Survey, 43% would consider eliminating their web press and outsourcing printing - up from 32%. The question on considering buying a newspaper is at 54% "No", 46% "Yes", about the same as the prior Survey. Fifty-five percent (55%) say bank financing on reasonable terms is available to them.

Respondents were less optimistic in answering the question "Would you recommend the newspaper business as a career for your children?" This litmus test question last spring produced 39% "yes" responses, which has decreased  to 31% in the current Survey. When added to those who "maybe" would suggest newspapers as a career the percentage totaled 62%, with 38% saying "no" to this question.

The Cribb, Greene Publisher Confidence Survey polls mid and small market newspaper executives to see how they feel about current performance. The Fall 2010 Survey had 239 participants of which 34% have daily newspapers, 13% have both daily and non-daily newspapers, and 53% have non-daily (primarily weekly) newspapers.

Download the survey results here (PDF)



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