The rapid graying of the newspaper audience has huge and unpleasant implications for publishers.
74% of the newspaper audience is aged 45 years or older, even though the two oldest age cohorts collectively constitute 39% of the population. At the other end of the continuum, only 6% of the newspaper audience is 18-24, even though this age group constitutes 10% of the population.
The mature skew of the audience is unappealing to most advertisers, who generally target individuals in the early life stages of forming households and raising children. The older audience delivered by newspapers could reduce the sales potential for an industry that already has lost more than half of its advertising since hitting an all-time high of $49.4 billion in 2005.