Newspaper Death Spiral Continues; Industry Advertising Contracts $5 Billion So Far This Year

The newspaper industry in the U.S. continues to shrink at an alarming rate. According to the Newspaper Association of America,, total industry advertising (both print and online) in the third quarter was $8.9 billion, down 18 percent from the year before. The online portion of that was $750 million, down 3 percent. So far in the first three quarters of 2008, the industry’s total advertising revenues have shrunk by $5 billion to $27.8 billion.

Print advertising has been declining for ten straight quarters, but this marks only the second quarter that online advertising also went down. More concerning is that the overall rate of decline seems to be accelerating, a trend we noted in September. Here is the percentage change in total newspaper advertising for the past five quarters:

3Q07: -7.4%
4Q07: -10.3%
1Q08: -12.85%
2Q08: -15.11%
3Q08: -18.11%

The fourth quarter will probably be worse.

(Photo by Scott Glovsky).