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Online Newspaper Advertising Still Gaining

The latest estimates from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) show that advertising expenditures for newspaper Web sites increased by 21.1 percent to $773 million in the third quarter versus the same period a year ago.

This is the fourteenth consecutive quarter of double digit growth for online newspaper advertising since 2004.

The continued year-over-year gains have demonstrated the importance of newspaper Web site advertising, which now accounts for 7.1 percent of total newspaper ad spending, compared to 5.4 percent in last year's third quarter.

Total advertising expenditures at newspaper companies were $10.9 billion for the third quarter of 2007, a 7.4 percent decrease from the same period a year earlier. Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $10.1 billion, down nine percent versus the same period a year earlier.

Third quarter highlights include:

- Classified advertising fell 17 percent to $3.4 billion; retail declined 4.9 percent to $5.1 billion; national was down 2.5 percent, coming in at $1.7 billion.

- Real estate advertising fell 24.4 percent to $1 billion; recruitment dropped 19.7 percent to $882.4 million; automotive was down 17.7 percent to $796.6 million; all other classifieds were up 2.7 percent to $713.3 million.

NAA President and CEO, John F. Sturm, concludes that "Newspaper Web sites continue to generate substantial revenue by offering advertisers access to the nation's most desirable group of consumers."

That said, clearly the transition to online advertising has been a painful lesson for legacy newspaper industry executives who resisted this change -- long after the trend had gained significant momentum. This headline should read, "Craigslist leads Newspaper Luddites into the 21st century."

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