Newspaper Sites Post Anemic 2.3 Percent Growth For First Half Of ’08, But Down 2.3 Pct. In Q2: NAA

Considering that newspaper ad revenues plummeted a record $3 billion (-16 percent) in the first half of ’08, perhaps it’s not so bad that they were up only 2.3 percent with $35 million in sales, as the industry ended June with $1.6 billion in total online sales, according to stats from the Newspaper Association of America. And zeroing on Q2, newspapers’ web revenues fell 2.3 percent ($776.6 million). As Alan Mutter, on his Reflections of a Newsosaur points out, these new numbers represent the worst performance for newspapers in a dozen years. Here’s a breakdown of the bad news for H108:

— print classifieds were down 35.2 percent or roughly $1.8 billion to $5 billion.
— help wanted fell $710.6 million, or 36 percent, to less than $1.3 billion.
— real estate slid $682.2 million, or 35.5 percent, to $1.2 billion.
— auto classifieds sank $331 million, or 21.9 percent, to less than $1.2 billion.
— national print dropped $416 million, or 13.4 percent, to $3.1 billion.
— print retail decreased $913.7 million, or 10 percent, to $9.1 billion.