Print and online newspaper advertising revenue plunged 18.11% in the third quarter of this year — the worst decline by far in the nearly four decades the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) has been tracking quarterly performance.
According to the NAA statistics — updated without fanfare the day before Thanksgiving — newspaper ad sales for the quarter of 8.94 billion were nearly $2 billion lower than the third quarter of 2007.
The contraction marked the sixth straight quarter in which newspaper ad revenue fell compared to the prior year’s quarter.
Ugh. More bad news for newspaper publishers, employees, advertisers and, whether they know it or not, readers.
The business no longer supports the overhead, and, in many ways, the audience is dwindling. As we’ve pointed out numerous times, this is why newspapers companies are cutting staff, sharing resources and going online-only.
They’re also outsourcing. I recently heard a tale from a major metro daily that’s been outsourcing some of its pagination — the process of laying out newspaper pages — to a country overseas. This has caused some consternation in the newsroom, particularly when pages come back with misspellings and other errors.
Routinely, there’s gaffes like this: An advertisement featuring a football promotion was mocked up overseas. That ad came back to the States festooned with soccer ball graphics, not American footballs.
Those errors and other instances of cultural confusion have of course added to the frustration in that newsroom.