As in previous quarters, losses were spread evenly across all the main newspaper advertising categories -- including national, down 29.8%, retail, down 24%, and classifieds, down 37.9%.
National advertising in particular reached a discouraging milestone in the third quarter, with total revenues falling below $1 billion (to $956 million). That's the first time since the third quarter of 1995.
In classifieds, losses were led by the recruitment category, which suffered a vertigo-inducing 64.7% drop, from $497.5 million to just $176 million.
Real estate and automotive both followed with 43% declines, with real estate tumbling from $629 million to $358.5 million, and automotive dropping from $564 million to $321 million.
Similar to previous quarters, newspaper print ad revenue declines were joined by online, which fell 17% from $750 million in the third quarter of 2008 to $623 million this year.
With the latest results, the newspaper industry's total print revenues have experienced year-over-year declines for 14 straight quarters, while online has fallen for six straight quarters.
For the year-to-date through September, total ad revenues came to just over $19.8 billion, compared to about $27.8 billion in the same period last year -- a 29% decline. This year's figures represent a 44% decline from peak revenues of $35.3 billion in the first nine months of 2005.