Coronavirus hits newspapers hard as television news thrives: Pew

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Newspapers were hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic in the second quarter of 2020 with advertising revenues plummeting in comparison to the previous year while revenue was up for a number of television news networks and programs, according to a Pew report.

“Among the six publicly traded newspaper companies studied – major chains that own over 300 daily papers – advertising revenue fell by a median of 42% year over year,” comparing the second quarters of 2019 and 2020, reports Pew.

Digital ads revenue also fell by a median of 32 percent in the second quarter when compared to the previous year.

“By contrast, total ad revenue across the three major cable news networks [CNN, Fox News and MSNBC] was steady overall, but there were sharp differences between the networks,” according to the report.

Second quarter ad revenue for MSNBC and CNN declined by 27 percent and 14 percent, respectively, while Fox News Channel’s revenue rose by 41 percent.

The fourth quarter may tell a different story as October saw record ratings spike for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

The month included a positive coronavirus test for President Trump, who was briefly hospitalized, a presidential debate, a vice presidential debate, and multiple town hall events as Election Day approaches.

Ad revenue for the evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC increased in the second quarter when compared to 2019. ABC was up 21 percent, while NBC saw an increase of 7 percent and CBS 3 percent.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” is having an especially successful year in winning the nightly news ratings race for the past 29 weeks with an average of more than 8.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Tags ad revenue Cable news Coronavirus Donald Trump newspapers ratings Television news
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