Friday, September 05, 2008

Where were you in 1982?

1982...the early stages of the 80's...The Doobie Brothers disband and Public Enemy forms.

If you were a newspaper, the world seemed ok. You were making money. You were THE source of most people's daily news. Alas, some say you can never go back to the way things were. In the case of newspapers, they least on the part that deals with revenue.

The Newspaper Association of America reported quaterly ad revenues and the news is not good. In fact, one commentator looked at ad revenue in constant, inflation adjusted dollars and concludes that newspaper revenues are at the level they were in 1982. (see chart below from here)

In addition to the unfortunate back-to-the-future vibe, Newsosaur  charts the accelerating rate of decline in a chart prepared from NAA data.

And in a leading indicator of the possible ad recession, even online newspaper revenues are down for the first time...ever.

What the future holds for newspapers--as distinct from news reporting--is always a guess. But the trends suggest that it will never be like it was. That's true for everything of course. 

For prior looks at what this might mean, see a post on news, readership and segmentation here

For a look at the impact of economic cycles on newspaper advertising, vis-a-vis auto ad spending see here

For a look at what newspaper might do to survive, see here

For a nostalgic look at 1982, see:

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