Newspapers revenue is off by $2.6 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2008, a new study shows.
Retail advertising sales for newspapers in the United States fell at an alarming, but not unexpected, rate of 23.7 percent in the first three months of 2009 compared to the same time period in 2008, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Retail advertising sales in the first quarter of 2008 was $4.360 billion nationwide. In the first quarter of 2009, it was $3.328 billion.
National advertising revenue fell from $1.527 billion in the first quarter of 2008 to $1.132 billion in the first quarter of 2009. That's a $395 million loss over the same time period, or 25.9 percent.
Print advertising sales fell by 29.7 percent to $5.9 billion in the first period of this year. Even online sales are taking a hit, falling 13.4 percent to $696.3 million.
But the biggest drop came in classified advertising revenue, which dropped from $2.537 billion in the first quarter of 2008 to $1.463 billion in the first quarter of 2009, the report said. That $1.074 billion loss represents a 42.3 percent decline. These numbers come on the heals of a Pew Research Center study that reported annual classified revenue for newspapers in 2000 was more than $19.608 billion, but in 2008 it was $9.975 billion.
In total, newspaper print and online advertising revenue fell from $9.230 billion in the first quarter of 2008 to $6.620 billion in the first quarter of 2009, representing a fall of $2.610 billion, or 28.3 percent.