Financing the Front Page: Profitable Models for Journalism

Open Access
Delaney, John Joseph
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Finance and Journalism
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Russ Eshleman, Thesis Supervisor
  • Brian Davis, Honors Advisor
  • Ford Risley, Honors Advisor
  • Journalism
  • nonprofits
  • finance
  • media
  • news
  • newspapers
Traditional journalism has struggled to keep up with the expansion of digital-first platforms. Many outlets find it difficult to convince subscribers to continue paying for news that can often be found for free elsewhere. This study compares the financial performance of 36 media organizations. There are four peer groups: local, state/regional and national nonprofits, as well as public companies such as the New York Times and Gannett Company. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the performance among these four groups and assess the financial viability of a nonprofit model. While nonprofit media organizations are not absolved from the difficulties of the industry, this study suggests that such structures offer news outlets a longer leash to devote resources to quality journalism.