The imminent demise of newspapers has been greatly exaggerated, says Peter Conti, an SVP at local media analyst Borrell Associates. Despite all the fears of bankruptcies, default and closure, Conti sees some cause for hope next year. After another decline in 2009, newspapers in 2010 will show a 2.4 percent gain. And by 2014, newspapers will be up a total of 8.7 percent over the ’09 figures, to slightly more than $39 billion. This is still down after a peak in 2001, but at least it seems the worst could be over and, as Conti writes, a long way from extinction.
Conti’s more sanguine view of newspapers is based on the notion that because newspapers were the first industry to be negatively impacted by the internet, it will also be the first medium to adjust. And that much of the pain felt by the loss of classified and retail revenue has been borne by the larger companies. Those larger companies will continue to struggle with costs and layoffs, but in smaller markets, the newspapers that survive the tough times will stabilize. Other reasons include newspapers improved sales systems, the end of recession and the additional growth of newspaper websites. More details on Borrell’s blog here.