Local Journalism Under Private Equity Ownership

64 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2022 Last revised: 9 Apr 2022

See all articles by Michael Ewens

Michael Ewens

Columbia Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Arpit Gupta

NYU Stern School of Business

Sabrina T. Howell

New York University (NYU) - New York University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2022

Abstract

Local daily newspapers historically played an important role in U.S. democracy by providing citizens with information about local policy issues. In recent decades, local newspapers have struggled to compete with new online platforms. In the first study of private equity (PE) in a struggling industry, we find nuanced effects. PE leads to higher digital circulation and lower chances of newspaper exit. However, the composition of news shifts away from local governance, the number of reporters and editors falls, and participation in local elections declines. The results have implications for knowledge about local policy issues and highlight trade-offs surrounding media ownership.

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Suggested Citation

Ewens, Michael and Gupta, Arpit and T. Howell, Sabrina, Local Journalism Under Private Equity Ownership (February 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w29743, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4034193

Michael Ewens (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School ( email )

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Arpit Gupta

NYU Stern School of Business ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://arpitgupta.info

Sabrina T. Howell

New York University (NYU) - New York University

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