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Newspaper publishers, 2016

Released: 2017-12-08

The newspaper publishing industry reported $3.2 billion in operating revenue in 2016, down 19.8% from 2014. Operating expenses declined 16.6% to $3.0 billion in 2016. The decreases in operating revenue and operating expenses were widespread, with Ontario and the Western provinces and territories showing more of a decline than the Eastern provinces.

Salaries, wages, commissions and benefits totalled $1.1 billion, representing 37.5% of operating expenses. Other large contributors to operating expenses were subcontract expenses (13.2%) and cost of goods sold (12.9%).

The regional share of operating revenue was relatively unchanged from 2014 to 2016. Newspaper publishers in Ontario (41.5%) accounted for the largest share of the industry's operating revenue in 2016, followed by the Prairie provinces, British Columbia, and the territories (31.7%), Quebec (20.3%), and the Atlantic provinces (6.4%).

Advertising sales accounted for 63.0% of total sales in 2016, followed by circulation sales (23.3%). Both revenue streams declined in dollar terms compared with 2014, with advertising sales falling 21.8% and circulation sales down 10.0%.

As newspaper publishers continue to create a digital presence and transition to digital products, there has been a steady decline in print advertising sales, while digital advertising sales have remained relatively unchanged. In 2016, print advertising accounted for 86.2% of total advertising sales, down from 89.2% in 2014, with digital advertising accounting for the remainder.

Newspaper publishers reported $687.9 million in total circulation sales in 2016. The largest contributor was from print circulation sales ($660.2 million), with digital circulation sales accounting for the remaining $27.8 million.

  Note to readers

Data for 2014 have been revised.

Contact information

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