152 newspapers shut down in 2011

But none of those closings occurred at a major daily, according to the Vocus State of the Media report. Take a sneak peak at more media trends from the report.

Here’s a peek at some of the highlights of the 2012 Vocus State of the Media report from Vocus Editor-in-Chief Katrina Mendolera.

If 2010 was a year of experimentation, then 2011 was a year for the cultivation of previous new media endeavors.

In the last 12 months, we’ve seen the adoption of mobile applications steadily increase, social media emerging as standard practice, and the paywall trend gaining ground among newspapers. Here is a peek at some of 2011’s hottest highlights from the upcoming 2012 Vocus State of the Media Report, which comes out Jan. 19.


On par with 2010’s 151 newspaper closings, 152 papers ceased operations in 2011. Of the papers that closed, not one major daily went under—the first year since 2009 that a top-tier paper didn’t shut down.

Although online news sources still dominated launches, heavyweight Patch.com’s growth slowed and several pairs of sites are expected to merge. Meanwhile, other hyper-local online publishers, including Main Street Connect and Elauwit Media, threw their hats into the hyper-local ring.

Paywalls grew in popularity and were adopted by big-name publications such as The New York Times, Dallas Morning News, and Baltimore Sun. Despite growth in print launches, layoffs at large and mid-size newsrooms numbered into the hundreds.

Look for newspapers to continue to merge print and digital operations in 2012.


Including both online and print, there were a total of 195 magazine launches in 2011 with the unveiling of new consumer titles taking a modest hit.

Overall, titles of all types closed in the past year, although the number was small compared to previous years.

Magazines continued to embrace the iPad, using it not only to draw readers digitally, but also to attract them to print products by offering free access to the tablet version with the purchase of print editions.

One significant launch within the industry included Social Media Monthly. “We found it interesting that a magazine about social media decided to create a print version,” said Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor of magazine content at Vocus Media Research Group. “It just goes to show that the print landscape is less cluttered and it’s easier to stand out and get people’s full attention in a curated hard copy.”


Growth into Hispanic markets continued in 2011, and eventually leveled out as all the major markets now have at least one Spanish-language TV network available.

Meanwhile, online streaming of television shows and newscasts continued to increase. Video on station websites now provides viewers with additional news not previously available through a normal newscast, making TV news consumption a more comprehensive experience.

Additionally, some networks returned to traditional practices when they revived investigative journalism.

In 2012, look for the TV industry to continue adapting content to mobile devices.


In 2012, traditional radio continued to prove it’s a survivor, despite evidence that the majority of people prefer to get their news elsewhere. In all four quarters, reports showed growth in radio listenership.

Streaming radio services are increasingly doing well, and have seen growth in the number of subscribers. This could go a long way toward more active installation of Pandora in vehicles. Radio will continue to become more interactive in 2012, and ride the digital wave along with the other traditional mediums.


Although there were plenty of changes within the media industry, much of 2011 was a continuation of 2010. Experiments that were new in 2010 gained ground in 2011, as outlets implemented and fine-tuned new media models.

The crossover among different forms of media had led inevitably to media outlets’ looking increasingly like hybrids. Yet traditional media still exists, despite the whirlwind of change that has happened over the last several years.

For an in-depth analysis, make sure to check out the 2012 Vocus State of the Media Report, slated for release Jan. 19. This post originally appeared on the InVocus Blog.


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