Newspaper Industry Implodes In First Quarter 2009

Jun 1st, 2009 | By | Category: General, The New Media Update

If the first quarter of this year is any indication, 2009 may turn out to be the worst year ever for the newspaper industry.

According to figures from the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper revenues nosedived 28.3 percent in the first quarter – a $2.6 billion dollar drop from last year.

Newspaper revenues plummeted across the board:

  • National ads: -25.9 percent to $1.1 billion.
  • Retail ads: -23.7% to $3.3 billion.
  • Help wanteds: -67.4 percent to $205.4 million.
  • Real estate: -45.6 percent to $336.9 million.
  • Cars: -43.4 percent to $332.8 million.
  • “Other” classifieds: -16.5% to $587.7 million.

The newspaper industry seems to want to blame this on the recession. They want to fix the situation with tax breaks for old media.

This isn’t the recession, though. This is new media taking over. This is Craigslist eliminating the value of classified advertisements. This is people trusting the Internet at double the rate that people trust the New York Times.

It’s going to get ugly for the newspaper before it gets better. And then….it’s not going to get much better.

I’m going to miss the morning paper, but not businesses that ignore the future.

Do you think there’s any hope left for the newspaper industry? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

via paidcontent

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3 Responses to “Newspaper Industry Implodes In First Quarter 2009”

  1. I came home to read this after a dinner meeting with the publisher of our local newspaper as the after dinner speaker. His view was that small town papers, closely coupled to their community will be insulated from this trend. The big city daily papers were at risk. He shared that over his career, small town papers were the closest thing to being able to print money, with annual returns on the order of 35% – He wasn’t sharing the margins they had today, just that the newsroom staff that was 45 people now has 30. Did anyone mention whistling while walking by the graveyard late at night ?

  2. arjun says:

    The small town newspapers are probably insulated a bit, because there are fewer options for advertisers to connect with their customers.

    Also – craigslist hasn’t hit small towns yet.

  3. Bill Grady says:

    The surviving newspapers will find a way to make money….but they won’t be making the kind of dollars they were 10 years ago. Those days are gone for awhile, perhaps even for good. The small town newspapers have a better chance of surviving because most of them already pay minimum wage and don’t have the unions to deal with. But all newspapers are taking the hit right now, both large and small. Today at the newspaper, there’s no investment in new equipment, technology, or journalistic talent because they don’t have the extra money to do so. They are in survival mode which means they are more interested in saving money, and aren’t investing in anything that isn’t a necessity. The scenario of “we know the computer is broke, but you’ll have to find a way to work around it since we can’t afford a new one” is a realistic one at your small town paper. In the future, those who choose to work at newspaper will choose to work in a place of old equipment, old technology, and an employer that will give little hope to their employees for advancement of their current income level.

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