Worst quarter ever for newspapers


Figures posted quietly by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) show that print and online revenues combined fell 28.3% in Q1 for US newspapers. All categories were down double digits, but classified was hardest hit.

According to NAA, classified dropped 42.3% in the quarter to $1.46 billion. Retail was down 23.7% to $3.33 billion and national fell 25.9% to $1.13 billion. All in all, print revenues were down 29.7% to $5.92 billion.

Online revenues for newspapers also took a hit, falling 13.4% to $696 million. For print and online combined, Q1 revenues were down 28.3% to $6.62 billion.

NAA has quarterly figures going back to 1971 posted on its website. Only once before has a quarter been down over 20% for print ad revenues – and that was Q4 of 2008. The last time revenues for a quarter were below $6.62 billion was Q1 of 1987 – 22 years ago. And that was before there was an online figure to add in. The last time revenues for print alone were below the Q1 2009 mark of $5.92 billion was Q1 of 1985 – 24 years ago.