Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Good News for Newspapers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Good News for Newspapers

Article excerpt

DAILY NEWSPAPERS ARE the preferred medium for advertising information among 14 media categories, according to a national survey commissioned by Gannett Co.

The survey, in which 2,645 adults aged 18 and older were questioned, also showed that fewer Americans are watching TV commercials and that newspapers' nemesis -- direct mail -- has the lowest credibility of any medium when it comes to ad believability.

By nearly 3 to 1, respondents said they relied on preprinted inserts or circulars delivered via their daily newspapers, rather than on those delivered by mail.

Gannett chairman, president and CEO John Curley, who is also chairman of the Newspaper Association of America, was ecstatic.

In announcing the results at the opening session of the annual Nexpo conference in Las Vegas, Curley called the findings "heartening news" for newspapers.

"Without question, newspapers are the dominant medium from which consumers seek advertising information," Curley said. There are a lot of pluses to promote in those numbers," he added. "They truly intricate that we should be able to build on the advertising business that we have."

The study also delved into the readership area, and those findings were as heartening for newspapers as were the advertising numbers.

The most significant statistic was that, even as paid circulation of most newspapers -- especially in larger cities -- is declining, readership is growing, due in part to increasing numbers of pass-along readers.

The pass-along readership rate has grown over the last decade to 14%, according to the survey. And, added Curley, "The demographics don't vary whether you buy it or read someone else's copy."

And the readership is affluent. Among households earning over $100,000, readership is 85%. In households with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000, readership is 77%, and in categories from $35,000 to $75,000, readership is 75%, the survey showed.

"Remember, this is local and regional newspaper readership, not the national newspapers, which have even higher demographics," Curley said. "So these are impressive numbers."

Among the other readership data the survey revealed:

* Seventy-one percent of adults in the United States read at least one weekday edition of a local or regional newspaper, while 57% read a daily newspaper on a typical weekday. Readers grow to 64% on a typical Sunday. The best weekday reading day is Friday, when more adults read the daily newspaper than on any other weekday. …

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