# Cost of printing national newsapaper?October 14, 2007 1:01 PM   Subscribe

What is the daily cost to print a nationally distributed newspaper, like the NYT or WSJ?

I'm just looking for statistics on how much it is to do the actual printing of one day's edition -- don't need to know anything about design, distribution, staff costs.
posted by PandemicSoul to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I'd look at the annual report for a publicly traded newspaper publisher, and scale the numbers up or down based on circulation.
posted by zippy at 3:33 PM on October 14, 2007

Best answer: Newsprint right now runs about \$535 a metric ton (most newsprint comes from Canada) for those companies. You can get about 110 pages per pound, 2205 pounds per metric ton. NYT daily circulation is 1,120,420, Sunday 1,627,062. For a daily paper of 48 pages (regional editions have fewer pages than the metro), NYT prints 48 x 1120420 = 53780160 pages. 53780160 divided by 110 divided by 2205 = 221.7 tons, times \$535 = \$115,609 in newsprint for a typical day. Plates, ink and labor (and a newsprint waste factor of 5% or so) probably add 25% to this, so figure about \$145,000 for the Mon-Sat NYTimes. Probably about 3 times that amount for the Sunday Times.
posted by beagle at 4:55 PM on October 14, 2007 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: This is assuming that you own the machinery, I'm guessing, and that you're not paying someone else to print for you?
posted by PandemicSoul at 6:48 PM on October 14, 2007

This is assuming that you own the machinery, I'm guessing, and that you're not paying someone else to print for you?

Belatedly - correct, it's cost of materials only. For a large-circ paper, labor, benefits, power, depreciation, taxes, etc., etc., would probably double the materials costs, but it could be all over the map.
posted by beagle at 8:23 AM on October 25, 2007

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