Newspapers Are Still Dying – Check Out The Latest Numbers

Newspapers Are Still Dying – Check Out The Latest Numbers

Just in case you had thought that the newspapers had a chance to recover from their death spiral, think again. We have new data, and it is ugly.

Coming from the Newspapers Association of America (via Nieman Labs) about the fourth quarter of 2009 for the US, the data in a nutshell says this: newspapers continue to see declines in revenue across the board. The good news: declines seem to be decreasing in velocity.

Yes, the only good news is that the newspapers’ revenues are shrinking slightly less rapidly than before. When that is your silver lining, you need to get a new cloud to get lost in. Report on the data points after the jump.

What has happened since the last quarter? A veritable collapse in revenue. In the classified area, revenue was down 32%, which was a slowdown from 40% drops in previous quarters. How much revenue has been lost in recent years? In the fourth quarter of 2005 classified revenue was 5.2 billion dollars. In the fourth quarter of 2009 it was just $1.7 billion.

Retail revenue was down over 24% in the fourth quarter of 2009. This was on par with previous quarters which saw similar declines. A fast, steady deflation in this department.

And what about that hopeful bright spot, the internet? Even that was down, declining some 1%. That in my mind, and probably yours, is the final nail in the coffin.

The best possible spin was put on to the situation, with the NAA saying “The velocity of the advertising decline for print classifieds continued to moderate, and adverse trends for national advertising and newspaper Web sites lessened considerably as last year came to a close.”

It’s not even hard to see through that spin.

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