Can Online Growth Offset Print Newspaper Declines?

After recording the largest collective six-month drop in circulation in nearly 15 years, newspapers are now forced to turn to their online properties to make up for defecting readers and advertisers. An article in theSan Diego Union-Tribune asks whether or not online growth, which is steady, can make up for shrinking print readership and revenues. This is the fundamental question facing the industry right now, and newspaper analysts say the answer is probably not, at least not nearly fast enough. As the Newspaper Association of America recently noted in its analysis of the third quarter, expenditures for newspaper ads totaled $12 billion, $11.4 billion of which came from print. This is a huge discrepancy, especially when you consider that one in four Web users now read online versions of newspapers. To say the least, newspapers' Web sites have a lot of catching up to do.
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