Newspapers

Canadian Newspapers Holding Their Own Despite Doubts

A couple weeks ago, the Toronto Star’s David Olive reported newspapers are not only still profitable, but also readership is at record levels. In fact, StatsCan said the pre-tax profit margin for Canadian newspapers last year averaged out to be 9.9 per cent, and 77 per cent of Canadian adults read a print or online version of the newspaper each week.

The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade blogged about Olive’s article the very next day, and he went so far as to say that Canada is possibly “about to defy the trend in the rest of the west by becoming the last refuge for printed newspapers.” It’s a pretty bold statement coming from someone who lives in a nation where there are over a dozen daily, national newspapers.

According to Suzanne Raitt, vice-president of marketing at Newspapers Canada in an interview with the Star Phoenix, even Canadian newspapers’ online editions are faring better than the American counterparts in ad revenues, up 16 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.

“…more than half of Canadians read the print product, but they also go for different reasons to all the other devices,” Raitt said.

On March 2, the Financial Post reported revenues at Star Media of the Torstar Corp. (publisher of the dailies including Toronto Star and Metroland) at $416 million, well above the estimated $397 million.

And you thought newspapers were doomed…