Faced with a changing media landscape, newspaper publishers have struggled to remain relevant over the years. As distrust in the news media grows, it seems like the worst possible time to place tariffs on the very paper used to print newspapers – newsprint – and publishers have taken it upon themselves to roll them back.
When the newsprint tariff was initially put in place, an overwhelming majority of the industry disapproved, citing already rampant layoffs and downsizing. However, one publisher – Northern Pacific Paper – pushed for it, claiming that subsidies provided to Canadian paper companies creates an unfair advantage that hurts their business. This request was more than enough for the Commerce Department to initiate tariffs up to 32% on the importation of Canadian-made newsprint.
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The remainder of the industry, as well as a bipartisan group in Congress, have lobbied heavily to reduce the tariffs. In early August, their voices were heard. The Trump administration announced it would be backtracking on the tariff decision, cutting it down to under 17%. In some cases, such as the case of Catalyst Paper, producers will face tariffs up to 20%. Still others will see only a 10% tariff, while smaller producers may see tariffs near 1%.
Despite a tariff reduction, the already struggling newspaper publishing industry is bound to face increased challenges going forward. As subscription and advertising revenue continue to fall, publishers must diversify their business, focusing heavily on their digital presence – particularly among larger publishers. If they don’t, we’ll be reading their obituaries on social media or a digital-only news source instead of on newsprint.
Want to Learn More?
Don’t worry, we have you covered! For additional information and analysis of US industry trends, see Newspaper Publishing: United States, a report published by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. This report forecasts to 2022 US newspaper publishing revenues in nominal US dollars at the publisher level. Total revenue is segmented by source in terms of:
- advertising space
- subscriptions and sales
- printing services
- distribution services
- other revenue sources
Advertising, subscription, and sales revenues, as an aggregate, are segmented by media type in terms of:
To illustrate historical trends, total revenue, and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2007 to 2017.
The scope of this report includes firms that publish newspapers in print or print and digital formats. Firms that exclusively publish digital content are excluded.
While you’re there, check out some of our related reports, which include:
About the Author
Chris Dyer is a Market Research Analyst for Freedonia Focus Reports. He holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies, and his experience as an analyst covers multiple industries.