US newspaper ad sales fall a record $2 bn in Q3

US newspaper ad sales fall a record $2 bn in Q3

Los Angeles: US newspaper advertising revenue collapsed by nearly $2 billion, or 18%, in the third quarter, according to the Newspaper Association of America, an industry group. Even online ad revenue made a small U-turn for the second quarter in a row.

The year-on-year quarterly percentage decline is the worst since since the NAA has been keeping such records and represents an increasingly rapid deceleration that began in the third quarter of 2006, when total ad spending dropped 1.5%.

The figures, updated on the day before the Thanksgiving holiday, show total ad spending at newspapers fell 18.1% to $8.94 billion, down from $10.92 billion in the third quarter last year.

The last time total quarterly ad spending fell below $9 billion was in the first quarter of 1996.

Print ad revenue dropped 19.3% to $8.19 billion from $10.15 billion. Online ad revenue fell 3% to $749.8 million from $773.0 million a year ago, a remarkable turnaround since the steady double-digit growth from 2004 to 2007.

The 7.2% increase in online ad spending in the first quarter of 2008 was the last quarter of year-over-year gain.