U.S. Newspapers Make $40 Billion Less From Ads Today Than in 2000

'The economic devastation would be difficult to exaggerate'

Here's a sobering statistic: From 2000 to 2013, annual U.S. newspaper ad revenue dropped from $63.5 billion to $23 billion. 

That 64 percent plummet, noted by The Atlantic, was just one ominous point made by The Brookings Institution in a recent essay titled "Bad News About the News." It is a retrospective gut-punch for the newspaper industry and notes in summary that "the economic devastation would be difficult to exaggerate." 

One of the piece's not-so-fun facts for print journalism fans: The Washington Post's profits of $120 million a year in the late 1990s have now evaporated, leaving the storied paper instead with a loss of $40 million last year.

The Brookings essay was, in fact, written by the Post's late-1990s managing editor, Robert Kaiser, who begins by describing the moment in 1998 when his company opted not to invest in a fledgling startup called Google.



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