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 June 2022.
- 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 mid-2022.
Market Cap: $200 Billion
Comcast (CMCSA) is a media giant. It is the second-largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, the largest pay-TV company, the largest cable TV company, and largest home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third-largest home telephone service provider.
As owner of NBC Networks, Comcast controls the news media outlets NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, and UK's Sky News.
2. Thomson Reuters
Market Cap: $48.5 Billion
Thomson-Reuters (TRI) is a news and media company that also provides financial and markets data across the globe including the Reuters service. It owns both news the Thomson and Reuters News publications as well as other online financial and wire services.
3. Warner Bros. Discovery
Market Cap: $45.2 Billion
Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) operates as a media and entertainment company. It creates and distributes a portfolio of content and brands across television, film, and streaming. Its news products include CNN and its related channels.
4. Paramount Global
Market Cap: 22.1 Billion
Paramount Global (PARA) operates as a mass media company, which creates and distributes content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. In the news space, Paramount owns CBS News and its affiliates.
Market Cap: $21.8 Billion
Naspers Limited is a multinational holding company headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, with interests across several of the nation's newspapers, magazines, and book publishers, as well as a majority stake in the country's largest news media company, Media24. Naspers has also engaged in a number of international joint ventures, including in Holland and China including a 29% stake in the media giant Tencent.
6. FOX Corp.
Market Cap: $19.1 Billion
FOX Corp (FOX) delivers news, sports, and entertainment content. The company provides news under the brand FOX News Media, and various local Fox station's news affiliates. FOX Corp. was formed in 2019 as the result of Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets from News Corp., where the news and other content were spun off as a standalone firm. Critics have argued that Fox News is a right-leaning government mouthpiece.
7. News Corp.
Market Cap: $10.4 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, and HarperCollins Publishers. News Corp formerly owned FOX News properties before they were spun off.
Market Cap: $7.8 Billion
IAC/Interactive Corp (IAC) engages in media and Internet businesses. IAC owns several news media companies such as The Daily Beast. Through its acquisition of Dotdash-Meredith, IAC also controls several online news and information providers such as People Magazine, The Balance, Entertainment Weekly, Better Homes & Gardens, Food + Wine, and Lifewire, among several others. IAC is also the parent company of Investopedia.
9. Nexstar Media Group
Market Cap: $7.1 Billion
Nexstar Media Group (NXST) is a television broadcasting and digital media company, which engages in the acquisition, development, and operation of television stations and interactive community websites & digital media services. Nexstar owns and operates several local TV stations across the U.S., each with its own local news team for television and online distribution.
Nexstar acquired Tribune Media in 2019, increasing its range and reach of television and print news media.
10. The New York Times Company
Market cap: $5.8 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.
Other Notable News Media Companies
Sinclair Broadcasting Co. (Market Cap: $1.7 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 Dec. 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.
E. W. Scripps (Market Cap: $1.3 Billion)
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.
Gannett (Market Cap: $0.6 Billion)
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.
Daily Journal Corporation (Market Cap: $0.4 Billion)
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.
Who Owns the Wall Street Journal?
The Wall Street Journal was owned by Dow Jones Co., which was purchased by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in 2007.
What Is the Daily Readership for The New York Times?
The New York Times boasts around 8.5 million active subscribers through the end of 2021, including online access. The company's 2022 acquisition of the popular online word game, Wordle, is expected to increase this number.
What Was the First Newspaper?
The world's oldest print newspaper is often attributed to the German-language Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien (roughly translated as "relation of all princes and memorable histories"), which was first printed in 1605.
America's first independent newspaper, the New England Courant, was published by Benjamin Franklin's older brother in 1721. By the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, there were 37 independent newspapers to keep the colonists informed. America's first daily newspaper was the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, which began publication on September 21, 1784.