The NY Times summarizes the dismal state of print newspaper ad revenues and the industry generally:
On top of long-term changes in the industry, the weak economy is also hurting ad sales, especially in Florida and California, where the severe contraction of the housing markets has cut deeply into real estate ads. Executives at the Hearst Corporation say that one of their biggest papers, The San Francisco Chronicle, is losing $1 million a week.
Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent decline in May.
The prediction is for M&A consolidation, driven by necessity. While some call it a “correction,” given the fat historical profits of newspapers largely shielded from effective competition before the Internet, I’m disheartened by the outlook for the industry.
However, this may be one of those “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger moments.”