Thursday, December 11, 2008

Newspaper death spiral quickens

In a week where the New York Times revealed it was on the edge and trying to raise cash by selling off its head office, the huge Tribune Co went bust with losses that could top $US6 billion and Fairfax slashed its dividend and changed CEOs, a report has been released that forecasts an even tougher year ahead for newspapers and magazines in 2009.

The report, explained in the Financial Times, makes very depressing reading: one in 10 print titles could be forced to cut their publishing frequency, move on line or simply shutdown.

At the same time more and more people became aware of third quarter advertising figures for the US newspaper industry as posted on the Newspaper Association of America website earlier this month.

Even online ad revenue fell, down from the June quarter and down 3% on the third quarter of 2007. Print ads were down 19% from the September quarter of 2007, and off 7% from the June quarter or more than $US660 million.

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