First-Quarter Numbers Show Newspaper Ad Decline Lessening

By: Lucia Moses

Newspaper advertising spending declined 6.2%, to $9.7 billion, in the first quarter, compared with the year-earlier period, reflecting a gradual improvement in some categories, according to preliminary data from the Newspaper Association of America.

Recruitment advertising remained the weakest spot for newspapers, with revenue dropping 38.4%, to $1 billion. Overall, classified ad revenue declined 13.6%, to $3.5 billion, with gains in the automotive and real-estate categories partly offsetting the help-wanted ad falloff.

Newspapers’ largest advertising component, retail, dipped 0.8%, to $4.6 billion, while its smallest, national, slipped 3.5%, to $1.7 billion.

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