Q4 newspaper advertising looks thin

Newspaper advertising was falling hard even before the financial markets tanked. Not a good sign heading into the final quarter of 2008.

According to a June Bloomberg News report:

Print advertising sales by American newspapers fell the most on record in the first quarter, tumbling 14 percent as the real estate and job markets shrank and business was lost to the Internet.

Advertisers spent $8.43 billion on newspaper ads in the first three months of 2008, according to the Newspaper Association of America, the eighth drop in a row. Real estate and recruitment ads each fell 35 percent.

The pace of that decline picked up in Q2 of 2008, but NAA is predicting it will stabilize for the rest of the year and the dive will become shallower in 2009. It isn’t clear why they believe the pace won’t continue to accelerate. But chances are all those calculations went out the window in the past few weeks as bank failures and stock market woes have all but guaranteed that advertising dollars will be at a premium for the rest of the year — if not longer.

What a bummer for those of us still trying to make a go in the newspaper business.

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