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Newspaper Association: Worst Print Ad Slide Ever Measured; Online Up 19 Percent

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Newspaper publishers might hope there’s some truth to the old line about it being darkest before the dawn. A new report from the Newspaper Association of America says the newspaper print ad downturn in 2007 was the worst it had seen in more than 50 years of measuring the numbers. Total revenue for the industry fell 7.9 percent to $45.3 billion, with print revenue falling by 9.4 percent to $42 billion. The previous worst was during the recession of 2001 (online ads weren’t being measured). Prior to that, the worst was a 6 percent slide during the recession of 1991. Of course, the industry is getting hit with a double whammy: secular industry shifts, and the effects of a sorry economy, which has decimated core revenue bases like housing, employment and auto ads. Full data. (via E&P)

The online picture is brighter, with revenue growing by 19 percent for the year. But the cloud behind that silver lining is that digital still accounts for just 7.5 percent of the total. And in many instances, as we’ve seen, digital growth is well below the industry total. Release.