2009 Was a Horrible Year for Newspaper Ads

A study released Wednesday by the Newspaper Association of America exposes the staggering depth of revenue losses the battered newspaper industry took that year.

On the print side, the pain was staggering. Money from print ads — including national advertising, retail ads and classifieds — dropped 28% in 2009 to $24.82 billion. That’s much worse than 2008, itself a banner year, when total print ad revenue fell 18%. The 2009 decline is the worst since 1950, which is the furthest today’s data release from the Newspaper Association reaches back.

Including online numbers, the newspaper ad business took a 27% haircut from 2008 to 2009, as total ad revenue across the industry dropped from $37.85 billion to $27.56 billion. That’s $10.29 billion in evaporated revenue — by far the worst decline since the Newspaper Association started tracking online ad figures in 2003.

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