US National Newspapers Continue to Suffer Ad Falls

21 August 2002

Newspaper advertising revenue data released by some of America’s biggest publishers suggest that recovery in this sector is still some way off.

National advertising is still suffering. At USA Today, the highest-circulation US paper, ad volumes fell 16% year-on-year in July, widening from the slightly less disastrous 13% drop in June.

There were also falls in ad volume at the New York Times, down 5.7% in July compared with the 3% June drop, and the Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal, down 17% (albeit better than the decline of over 20% in May and June).

Help-wanted advertising remains slow, while the huge ad slump at the Wall Street Journal reflects the title’s dependence on advertising from the depressed finance and technology industries.

In smaller markets it is a more mixed picture. USA Today’s publisher Gannett – which owns a further 93 papers, most local – managed to post an overall increase in ad volume of 4% last month, despite the problems at its flagship title.

However, the year-on-year falls may get less severe later in the year, as the yardstick figures from 2001 begin to reflect the adspend slump.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff