Despite yet another year of falling revenues, publicly traded newspaper companies saw their share prices rise sharply during 2013.
Yes, the overall market was strong — with the S&P index up 29.5 percent and the Dow Jones up 26.5 percent.
Yes, as I and others have noted, local broadcasting is thriving with two of the next three years bringing political and Olympics advertising bonanzas and retransmission fees a continuing windfall. Gannett, E.W. Scripps and Journal Communications all benefited from their TV holdings.
And two of the seven companies may have added value by subtraction. The New York Times Co. sold the Boston Globe, and Dallas-based A.H. Belo shed the Providence Journal and Riverside Press Enterprise. Each was left with just its flagship paper and related businesses.
However, even considering those qualifiers, investors are clearly cheering up about the industry’s prospects. Most of the year-to-year gains (see table) ranged from 60 percent up. And that follows good gains in 2012 when share prices rose by a quarter to a third at most of the companies.