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The state of the newspaper industry

by Ron Holdraker
March 12, 2022

Beginning this week, the Walmart stores will no longer carry ANY newspapers. We were abruptly told newspapers no longer fit the floor plans for Walmart. That cut our newspaper sales by over 200 papers per week.

The Breen’s grocery store in Palmyra closed, cutting shoppers out of 300 Times sales per week.

Nearby newsstands will pick up a majority of the lost circulation, but for either Walmart, or Breen’s Palmyra shoppers, it ends a convenient place to buy any newspapers.

On the plus side, Bryne Dairy has reportedly bought the Breen’s location and is planning a rather large convenience store in the location with a massive number of pumps.

The Democrat & Chronicle is raising their newsstand price for the Rochester area to $3.50 and the Sunday paper to $4.

This, on top of Gannett reducing their local staff to nearly zilch and using more syndicates and USA Today staff to fill in pages, the number of papers, and local coverage has suffered.

Nationally, the number of both daily and weekly newspapers has dropped like a rock.

Top Ten Newspapers of the US

These are the top leading newspapers across the US that excel at the job of delivering us news, top stories and latest headlines from all over the 50 states. The news they provide is not only of the current events but also covers sports, entertainment and other industries.

USA Today

The Wall Street Journal (also 

  known as The Journal)

The New York Times

New York Post

Los Angeles Times

The Washington Post

Star Tribune

Newsday

Chicago Tribune

The Boston Globe

The Most Popular Newspaper of the USA - USA Today tops the list of the popular category with a circulation of 2,301,917 newspapers..

As per the latest research and data, in 2018 around 1,279 daily newspapers were being circulated in the United States. There has been a continuing decline in daily newspaper circulations. According to the 1970 statistics there were 1,748 daily news publications in the US. Since then, the number has been declining, primarily because people are getting their local news from the internet.

According to the Poynter Report: More than 100 local newsrooms closed during the coronavirus pandemic

At first, the pandemic cost newsroom jobs and communities critical work. Now it’s starting to end entire newsrooms.

Then there are the major outlets cutting the number of days they publish and the number of pages printed. Mergers, or reverting to weekly formats, is also a reality.

Also, big.

Nick Schifrin,, PBS News Hour,  reported: 

Across the country, there are deserts of news. Local newspapers print fewer pages less frequently, and, in some cases, collapse entirely.

Recent studies paint a grim picture of the decline in local newspapers and the impact that is having on our politics.

According to the report, at least 200 counties in the U.S. have no newspaper at all.

The Internet, of course, helped change the economics of the news business, as advertising migrated online, and the Internet offers new ways for all of us to get news.

Charles Sennott commented: “I think the crisis in journalism in America has become a real crisis for our democracy.”

“There are 2,000 newspapers that have completely shut down, 2,000 communities without a newspaper anymore; 1,300 no longer have any local news coverage at all, no one watching the store, from small towns to medium-sized cities.

“When we lose 30,000 reporting jobs, as we have in the last 10 years, what we lose is an ability for us to have a shared set of facts on a local level, and for us to have a civic debate on a local level. And I think we’re really seeing a fraying of communities as a result.”

The Times of Wayne County saw a  tremendous drop in classified ads years ago when the Internet began swiping readers.

We also were one of the first weekly papers in the region to go digital and have a presence on the web. We embraced technology and changed with the times.  Luckily, the Times has a niche market and our format of giving readers a rounded news diversification has worked.

While the Times still flourishes, only  a very few weekly papers survive and are profitable.

 U.S. daily papers (leaving aside The Wall Street Journal) has done well. The Washington Post, owned by Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, is said to be profitable and growing. That makes the list of highly successful papers, financially, in the United States as a club of two. 

Another handful of papers, mostly large city dailies, are owned and supported by billionaires or non-profits.

Unfortunately, private equity and hedge fund groups are scooping up newspapers in distress, cutting staff and selling off any properties and anything left on the bones.

The Times of Wayne County has no  public office per se and that has been the way for well over a decade The minimal staff work out of their homes and every buck is watched.

We have every intention of investing in both the print and digital format and have plans to make this paper more than just a survivor in a social media world.

By the way, third world countries and non-democratic governments have seen a huge increase in newspaper censorship, closings and reporter deaths. Reporters in the U.S. have also met their end covering controversial stories.

The Times has received death threats, intimidation and a barrage of social media lies in attempts to thwart our initial motto of “Telling it like it is”.

We’re still standing.

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