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Auto Marketers Shun Newspaper Classifieds

Automakers are turning away from newspaper classified advertising in droves. Major chains such as Tribune Co., and McClatchy Co. reported huge losses in December of last year, with decreases of 16 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The development only spells more bad news for newspapers, already suffering from ads lost to the Internet. But this is particularly painful since auto classifieds were a steady source of revenue for so many years. In fact, such ads accounted for 30 percent of the industry's total classified ad revenue of $16.6 billion in 2004, the last full year for which figures are available. Even as a migration of job ads to the Internet took a big bite out of newspaper employment classifieds from 2000 to 2003, auto ads held up. Revenue from auto classifieds has now fallen for seven straight quarters, to $1.01 billion in the third quarter of 2005 from $1.16 billion in the second quarter of 2004, according to the Newspaper Association of America, an industry trade group.



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