The world moves on news. From decisions based on coverage of financial markets and political developments to those based on local news or weather reports, the news impacts our lives directly and indirectly. News is available and accessed in multiple formats: digital (online news content), print (newspapers and magazines), and broadcasting (TV and radio).
Audience reach is an important parameter when assessing the business potential of news companies. However, it is good to keep in mind that news companies are diversifying more and more by investing in non-news related businesses that may include software, data analytics, and real estate services. Investors looking for investments in news-only companies should carefully study the overall business of a company to ensure that its operations fit into their desired investment profile.
Here are some of the world’s top news companies, arranged in the decreasing order of the available market cap figures as of November 2020.
- News media companies have seen revenues erode over the past two decades as ad revenues and subscriptions suffer at the hands of online news outlets.
- Print media and local newspapers have been especially hard hit, as broadcast news continues to dominate the airwaves and streaming services.
- Here, we list the top 10 largest publicly traded news media companies by market cap as of November 2020.
1) News Corp.
Market cap: $7.9 billion
News Corp. (NWS) is a diversified information and media services company. It was formed when Rupert Murdoch split News Corporation into two entities: News Corp and 21st Century Fox. Focused on news and information services, News Corp. has four additional segments: Cable Network Programming; Digital Real Estate Services; Book Publishing; and "other" (which includes paid television services, book publishing, and other online services).
Its famous brands include The Times, Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, The Sun, Herald Sun, HarperCollins Publishers, Fox News, Fox Business, and Fox Sports. Critics have argued that Fox News is a right-leaning government mouthpiece.
2) The New York Times Company
Market cap: $6.8 billion
Owner of reputed brands like The New York Times (NYT), The New York Times International Edition, and the web property NYTimes.com, The New York Times Company is a global media company grounded in journalism that owns and operates its own digital platforms.
3) Daily Mail and General Trust plc
Market cap: $1.82 billion
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT.L) is a UK-based company established in 1922 and listed on the London Stock Exchange. It owns newspapers and television and radio stations. It has a significant presence globally through its subsidiary DMG World Events and DMG Information. It also operates in data analytics, information, and entertainment.
4) Sinclair Broadcasting Co.
Market cap: $1.41 billion
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (SBGI) is an American media company that operates in two segments, Local News and Marketing Services; and Sports. The company broadcasts free over-the-air programming, such as network provided programs, locally-produced news, local sporting events, programming from program service arrangements, syndicated entertainment programs, and internally originated programming to television viewing audiences in the communities through its local television stations.
As of December 31, 2019, it owned, operated, and/or provided services to 191 stations in 89 markets, which broadcast 629 channels. The company also owns and operates various networks carried on online distribution platforms. Critics have argued that Sinclair is a right-leaning propaganda outlet that colors local news for political purposes.
5) E. W. Scripps
Market cap: $750 million
E.W. Scripps (SSP) is a large media group that was founded in 1878. It operates several TV stations, newspapers, and local and national digital media sites. Its business is split across three streams: television; newspapers and content syndication; and "other", including the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
6) Tribune Media Co.
Market cap: $420 million
Tribune Media (TPCO) is a diversified broadcasting company with television and digital channels that provide news, entertainment, and sports programming. It owns and operates more than 40 TV stations, and Its WGN America alone reaches more than 80 million households. The company also makes strategic investments in other media businesses, including TV Food Network, Classified Ventures, and Mashable.
7) Daily Journal Corporation
Market cap: $379 million
Daily Journal (DJCO) operates as an information service provider through print and digital media, primarily in California and Arizona. Well-known brands include The Los Angeles Daily Journal, Daily Commerce, The San Francisco Daily Journal, The Daily Recorder, The Inter-City Express, The Orange County Reporter, Business Journal, and The Record Reporter.
8) Gannett Co. Inc.
Market cap: $169 million
Gannett (GCI) is a diversified news and media information company that operates in broadcasting, publishing, and digital. The most famous brand the company owns is USA Today. Its broadcasting segment runs 43 TV stations; its publishing segment provides daily content through more than 80 daily publications and more than 400 non-daily local publications; and its digital segment covers content through digital platforms, digital marketing services, and an online HR software solution.
9) The McClatchy Company
Market cap: $64 million
The McClatchy Company (MNI) has 30 daily newspapers, non-daily newspapers, web portals, and digital publications that include advertising services in 29 markets in the US. Their holdings include the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram, The Sacramento Bee, The Kansas City Star, the Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, and The (Raleigh) News & Observer.
10) A. H. Belo Corporation
Market cap: $29.2 million
A. H. Belo (AHC) is focused on local newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, and The Denton Record-Chronicle. The company also has audience-specific publications.