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Thursday, July 11, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Death of Newspapers Foretold

(CN) - The decline of American newspapers apparent over the last decade has recently accelerated with a clear trend of bigger and bigger revenue declines, based on the U.S. Census Bureau announcement Wednesday that newspaper revenue between 2007 and 2008 dropped by 8.3 percent. That number follows lesser but increasing declines over the previous two years, suggesting a disastrous income curve.

"Newspaper publishers experienced a single-year decline in total revenue of 8.3 percent -- from $47.9 billion in 2007 to $43.9 billion in 2008," said the Census Bureau.

The losses were caused primarily by declines in advertising revenue, down from $30.9 billion in 2007 to $27.8 billion in 2008. Newspaper subscriptions remained fairly steady, bringing in $8.3 billion in 2007 to $8.2 billion in 2008.

"When we measure information as a commodity, it allows us to track trends," said Mark Wallace, head of the statistic division for the bureau.

The trend for newspapers is obviously bad and the same goes for radio. Radio stations saw a 6.7 percent decline in revenues in 2008 -- from $13.6 billion to $12.7 billion.

On the up side, cable and satellite television systems increased revenues, climbing from $40.9 billion in 2007 to $45.1 billion in 2008, representing 10.1 percent increase.

"Over the same period, Internet publishing and broadcasting revenues grew 19.8 percent from $16.7 billion to $20 billion, spurred in part by the increase in revenue from one of its sources, publishing and broadcasting of Internet content, which increased 19.6 percent -- from $8.7 billion in 2007 to $10.4 billion in 2008," said the Census Bureau.

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