Advertising Spending Down Slightly In The First Half

First-half ad-spending reports continue to provide conflicting pictures of a recovery in the newspaper industry.

One study released today by CMR shows local newspapers’ ad revenue rose 6.3% to $9.5 billion and national newspapers’ ad revenue declined by almost the same amount to $1.46 billion. The Newspaper Association of America’s study, also released today, showed a 4% decline to $20.6 billion in ad spending during the first six months of 2002. A third study, released last week by Nielsen Monitor-Plus, claimed local newspapers gained 9% in the first half, the largest increase of any media.

The Newspaper Association of America said the industry’s first half was strengthened by stronger showings in automotive and real estate. But the figures were dragged by a heavy hit in recruitment advertising (down 30% from the same period a year ago) and smaller drops in retail and national advertising.

“We’re not out of the negative territory yet but we’re certainly showing improvement,” said Jim Conaghan, NAA’s VP of business analysis and research. “We expect to improve as the economy continues to improve.” He said he believed automotive and real-estate advertising would continue strong and retail and national advertising to flatten by the end of the year.



Q2 results would have been up 1% if recruitment advertising had been flat instead of down so much, Conaghan said. Q2 ad spending totaled $10.9 billion, down 1.8% from Q2 2001.

Conaghan said the NAA’s report was based on data collected from 55% of the nation’s daily newspapers and 60% of its Sunday newspapers. The NAA’s data is then projected out. The CMR and Nielsen Monitor-Plus reports take into account all other media; the NAA’s report tabulates the newspaper industry exclusively. The NAA does not segregate between local and national newspapers.

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