Daniel Powell 11 a.m., June 18
Newspapers Suffer Worst Quarter in Modern History
Last Thursday, the Newspaper Association of America quietly posted almost unbelievably grim news on its website. Advertising sales plunged by 28.3% in the first quarter of 2009. Print ads were down 29.7%. Classified ads, the big money makers in the past, plummeted 42.3%, with employment classified ads down 67.4% and automotive classified 43.4%. The word didn't reach Wall Street until yesterday (June 2) and most newspaper stocks got belted -- generally, from 3 to 10%. Stocks of most newspaper chains were already down 90% or more over the last 52 weeks. Analyst Edward Atorino noted "an accelerated rate of decline across all advertising categories....This is really horrible."