Among the ten leading newspapers in Argentina included in MOM Argentina’s study, three belong to Grupo Clarín: Clarín; La Voz del Interior (from Córdoba), which is the second highest circulation newspaper in the interior of Argentina; and Los Andes (from Mendoza). They accounted for 47.8% of the national readership and received 40% of official advertising funds in 2018.
Only three media outlets in the print industry are managed by their founders: La Nacion (managed by the Saguier and the Mitre families), biweekly newspaper Perfil (managed by the Fontevecchia family) and La Gaceta (managed by the García Hamilton family).
There are only two papers that do not belong to a corporation: Página 12, purchased in 2016 by the Single Trade Union of Concierges (SUTERH), and Tiempo Argentino, managed by Worker’ s Cooperative Por Más Tiempo.
With Clarín and La Nacion at the top, most print media outlets in Argentina keep an editorial line that supports Mauricio Macri’s administration (2016–2019). In contrast, there are only three that openly opposed Macri’s government: Página 12, Tiempo Argentino and Perfil.
The resistance of the paper
The picture of a printed newspaper on an Argentinian family’s daily breakfast table is becoming a thing of the past. Although it is still a popular habit, it has become less relevant in recent years. It has even begun to be considered a habit among high-income senior adults in Argentina.
With 732,246 daily copies sold among 27 media outlets, in 2017 the industry experienced a record low in sales (within the last 60 years). Only five years ago, over a million copies were sold every day.
According to the National Survey on Cultural Consumption, only 37.4% of the population reads printed newspapers. Among the reasons of the fall are a lack of interest and costs. Other reasons include a reduction in income from advertising (in 2017 more funds went to online media than to print) and a constant increase in paper costs.
In spite of the fall, newspapers are still one of the main sources of information and shapers of public opinion in Argentina.
To address the fall in sales, leading print companies have developed strategies aimed at capturing subscribers by means of loyalty card programs, such as 360 (Clarín) and Club La Nacion. They are also trying to develop new business models to counterbalance losses. In 2017 both Clarín and La Nacion started to charge for the news on their websites.
Clarín has been the highest circulation newspaper in Argentina for almost 40 years, with an average of 206,000 copies sold from Monday to Sunday (November 2018). However, it has also experienced the sharpest fall in sales, with a 50% reduction in recent years. In terms of circulation, Clarín is seconded by La Nacion, with 103,000 copies, and Diario Popular, with 52,000 copies. The three media outlets are located in the city of Buenos Aires, which concentrates 61% of the print market.