Red Ink: Newspapers Fell 23.7% in 4Q

Newspaper ad revenues continued to decline steeply in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the Newspaper Association of America. The NAA has total ad revenue, including print and online, declining 23.7% from about $10.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 to about $7.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Total print revenues fell 25.6% to just over $6.9 billion, while total online revenues declined 1% to just over $770 million.

As in previous quarters, losses were spread across all the major newspaper advertising categories, with classifieds tumbling 31.7% to $1.76 billion, retail falling 24.3% to $3.93 billion, and national down 19.8% to $1.22 billion.

Although the double-digit fourth-quarter drop can't quite be construed as good news, it is a smaller decline in percentage terms than the previous three quarters, when total revenues fell 28.3%, 29%, and 27.9%, respectively.

For the full year, total print ad revenues fell 28.6% from 2008 to $24.82 billion, while total online revenues fell 11.8% to $2.74 billion; the combined print and online total fell 27.2% to $27.56 billion.

The 2009 total represents a 44% decline from peak advertising revenues of $49.43 billion in 2005.




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