Newspaper ad picture improving


US newspapers posted their second straight quarter with print ad revenues down only by a single-digit percentage in Q3. That’s still going the wrong direction, but at least an improvement over the previous 10 quarters of double-digit declines.

According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), Q3 print ad revenues declined 7.11% to $5.41 billion. National just missed moving into positive territory, falling 0.57% to $951 million. Retain was down 9.25% to $3.08 billion and classified fell 6.42% to $1.37 billion.

Online advertising revenues for newspapers increased for the third straight quarter, rising 10.70% in Q3 to $690 million. Combining online with the print results, total ad sales of US newspaper were down 5.39% in Q3 to $6.10 billion. That’s the best quarterly performance since a 4.80% decline in Q1 of 2007.

The most recent up quarter for total newspaper revenues was Q2 of 2006. For print revenues alone, the most recent up quarter was Q1 of 2006. To find a Q3 with lower total revenues than this year you have to go back to 1985, long before online revenues were even a factor to be added in.