Print continues to bleed newspapers

Newspaper ad revenue continues its slide in first quarter numbers released this week showing a drop of 9.48 percent in print revenue that struggles up to an overall fall of 7 percent when it’s levened by gains in online.

Revenues from online sales increased 10.6 percent to $807.9 million, according to Newspaper Association of America numbers, but even that was down from a 14 percent gain in the final quarter of 2010.

This quarter’s $4.7 billion in print revenue is off 55 percent from the first quarter of 2006, making it the 20th straight quarter of year-over-year print revenue declines.

Alan D. Mutter of Reflections of a Newsosaur called the news “an unexpectedly sharp decline” and said “newspapers now appear to be entering the sixth year of an unprecedented collapse.”

Eric Sass at Media Daily News said then numbers “suggest that newspaper print ad revenues are locked into a permanent, long-term decline.”

Revenue from online advertising represented a 14.5 percent share of total newspaper ad dollars in the first quarter of the year, an all-time high.

On the print side, national ads dropped 11 percent, retail declined 9.5 percent, and classifieds slid 8.15 percent.

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