US newspaper advertising revenue fell more than 28 percent in the first quarter of the year with both print and online posting declines, according to the Newspaper Association of America.
Print advertising revenue fell 29.7 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year to 5.9 billion dollars, according to figures posted on the NAA website.
Online advertising revenue declined 13.4 percent during the period to 696.3 million dollars.
Print and online advertising revenue were down 28.3 percent to 6.6 billion dollars during the quarter while classified advertising revenue alone declined by 42.3 percent during the period to 1.46 billion dollars.
The weak revenue figures for the first quarter come on the heels of the worst year ever for the US newspaper industry.
Total newspaper advertising revenue fell 16.6 percent in 2008 over the previous year to 37.8 billion dollars, according to the NAA.
The US newspaper industry has been struggling with competition from free classified ad sites such as Craigslist and the migration of readers to free sites online.
The industry has been hit by a wave of bankruptcies, job cuts and closures over the past few months including a bankruptcy filing by the Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other major papers.
The 100-year-old Christian Science Monitor went online-only earlier this year and two major dailies, the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, Colorado, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have shut down in recent months.
Top US newspaper executives held a meeting in Chicago last week to discuss the future of the troubled industry amid growing moves towards charging readers for news on the Web.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work