The New York Times Co. has been looking like a roaring success lately, particularly by the standards of the beleaguered newspaper industry. Since Trump won the presidency in November, the publisher’s share price has soared 57%. Online subscriptions are up, bigly — about 19% in the first quarter alone, reported Ad Age, which added that scrutinizing the president “turns out to be good business, at least for top national papers like the Times and the Washington Post. A different story is playing out for local publications, which are still suffering through the industry’s long decline and need to retain subscribers who are sympathetic to Trump. Consider McClatchy, which owns about 30 papers, including the Miami Herald. Its shares have plummeted 31% since Election Day. Subscriptions have barely budged.
“The diverging fortunes in the industry have underscored what many in the traditional news business know only too well: Famous titles can lumber on as they grope for a digital future, but most local papers are fighting for survival.
“”For us in Texas, the bump has definitely been more muted because we’re not the primary source of news out of the White House,” said Mike Wilson, editor of the Dallas Morning News. “We serve a community with many deeply conservative pockets. That may be a different demographic from The New York Times and Washington Post audience.”
“At the Morning News, digital subscriptions rose 7% in the first quarter, or by about 1,200, a solid increase but not the blockbuster gain reported by the Times. Shares of A.H. Belo Corp., which owns the Morning News, are down 7.6% since the election.
“The Washington Post, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, has more than 900,000 digital subscribers, including hundreds of thousands who signed up in the first quarter, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The newspaper declined to comment on its subscriber figures.”