The plight of newspaper revenues was brought home in the latest figures from Gannett.
Gannett’s stable includes USA Today and Newsquest who operate 300 newspaper titles in the UK. News quest ad revenues are down almost 40% in the first quarter 2009 with property ads down a massive 60%, recruitment 51.4% and motors 43.2% in motors. In the forth quarter 2008 Newsquest ad revenues fell by 29.3% year on year, with classifieds down 35.3%.
USA today posted a 26.9% year on year revenue drop with a corresponding 28.2% drop in ad revenues.
Shares have fallen 87% in Gannett over the last 12 months.
In the coming weeks, Media General, New York Times and McClatchy will report their results. But what is clear is the ad spend is no longer a given and although recovery will come in the future it is questionable where the ad spend will go. This leaves the newspapers having potentially change their business model in difficult times.
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