No relief for newspapers


Ad revenues have been soft for daily newspapers for some time and the credit rating agency Fitch sees no improvement coming. "Real estate classified declines have been significant, and have generally tracked the widely covered slowdown in new home construction, particularly in formerly overheated markets such as California and Florida," Fitch said in an update to its sector outlook. The problems are widespread. For Gannett, Fitch noted that ad pages are down 17% at USA Today and pro forma real estate classifieds at its community newspapers are down 20%. For Tribune Company, classifieds are down 18%, driven by real estate down 24% and employment classifieds down 19%. At the McClatchy Company, real estate is down 26%, automotive down 20% and national down 19%. And for Dow Jones, ad volume is down 20%, driven by a 75% decline in technology related ads, and classifieds are down 14%.