Newspapers to be broke in 3 years

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Speaking of media outlets that pander to the government, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times (among others), according to PRWeek, need to figure out a new way to make money fast:

When 2007 began, Fitch posted a negative outlook for the newspaper industry; now, three quarters of the way through, the outlook is even worse.

Despite a few disparate success stories, the largest players in the industry are having a terrible year. To whit: At Gannett, USA Today’s advertising pages are down 17%, and real-estate ads in its community papers are off 20%. At Tribune, classified ads are down 18%. At McClatchy, real-estate ads are down by more than 25%, and automotive and national ads are both down 20%.

Even at News Corp’s $5 billion prize, Dow Jones, classifieds are down 14%, while overall ad volume has declined 20%, including a whopping 75% fall in technology ads. And at the mighty New York Times Company, earnings per share dropped by more than half in the second quarter, leading the company to announce more than $200 million in spending cuts over the next two years.

Finally, the Newspaper Industry of America reported that industry-wide ad revenue was down 8.6% in the second quarter. At that rate, papers will all be broke in three years.

1:51 pm on October 21, 2007