NYC advertising on a slide


After reporting a 13% drop in December ad revenue, The NY Times said last week that it would cut some 100 newsroom jobs over the course of this year. The paper isn’t the only suffering media biz in the Big Apple, according to a Crain’s New York Business story. Radio ad revenue for the marketplace took a slide in January, and television insiders predict a low-single-digit ad revenue drop in the first quarter for the local marketplace. Some magazines are seeing the bottom fall out of their ad page counts as well.

Newspapers have been the most vulnerable to the ripple effect of the mortgage crisis and subsequent credit crunch and the long-running problems for U.S. automakers. Ad revenue is down at the Daily News and Newsday as well, said the story–driven by declines in automotive, financial services and real estate advertising.

Radio and local television have been caught in the same downturn, with the WGA strike providing additional pain for both. Some big local advertisers have stayed out of television this quarter because they didn’t want their spots to appear during the repeats or reality shows that have been substituting for scripted programming.

And with no new high-profile shows to promote, TV has been spending less on radio ads. Ad revenue for the New York radio marketplace fell 7.5% in January to 43.3 million, according to a report from Miller Kaplan.

Buyers say that rates for radio airtime have become very competitive–a sure sign of a lack of business.

"There’s been nothing much going on-no political spending, no Olympics," observes Meredith Smulian, an SVP at R.J. Palmer, a local buying agency. "In the second quarter, you expect to have to pay more, but [rates] are not coming up."

The only areas where worries about the economy have yet to take a significant toll appear to be cable television, network television and the Internet. TNS Media Intelligence has forecast 5% revenue growth this year for cable, 3% for network TV and 14% for the Internet.

"The near term has been healthy," Aaron Cohen, chief negotiation officer for Horizon Media told Crain’s. "But in the long term, there are possible negative effects from lack of consumer confidence, which
may eventually impact marketing and advertising budgets."