Still more bad news, collated by Alan Mutter at Reflections of a Newsosaur:
After six straight quarters of accelerating declines, newspaper print advertising sales in the first half of this year fell to the lowest level in a decade, according to statistics released today by the Newspaper Association of America.
(Don't you love how they released those stats on the last Friday in August? Looks like the newspaper industry is finally learning some tricks from the newsmakers who've been picking low-readership days to sneak news out for years!)
Even more chillingly for those who care about the future of the newspaper business, Mutter adds:
But let's get one thing straight: Improving online sales, while a good thing, won’t help an industry whose primary revenue base has been eroding at an ever-quickening rate for six straight quarters.
Maybe a reality check is at hand. The quickening decline in print ad revenue should be pushing newspapers ever more aggressively into finding new forms of revenue, online and elsewhere. While the NAA numbers are optimistic about the growth in online ad revenue (19 percent in the second quarter), that's still not nearly enough.
Until newspaper Web sites get truly serious about going after online advertising—coming to grips with advertisers' increasing distaste for print, pursuing new online ad formats, unbundling print and online sales, putting dedicated online sales reps to work, just for starters—there's an increasing danger that the much-hoped-for business transition from print to Web might fall a little bit (but fatally) short.
And as I've said before, woe unto the industry if the economy goes into a recession. If that happens, we'll remember these bad numbers as the good times.