Longtime, please understand that the decline in ad revenue is not more than 50% cyclical. The movement of dollars from print to online has been happening for several years. The money spent by shoppers has been moving online also.
From travel , airlines, insurance and retail, there have been huge shifts in shopping patterns among folks with money. Amazon has killed the booksellers. Teen apparel stores have siphoned off huge chunks of revenue from department stores. Remnant and overstock stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls have also stolen market share from department stores. Department stores and other mass merchandisers like kmart,sears, jcpenney used to be big spenders in newspapers. They have less revenue, less customers, and therefore less money to spend on print to a quickly shhrinking base.
The cycle is being repeated in product categories across the board. Walmart is the largest grocer in the US, and growing. The food inserts that used to run in the paper have been cut in size, in some cases moved to mail, and in others just gone away due to the impact of Walmart. Walmart does very little in the way of newspaper advertising, and probably won't be shifting to print any time soon.
There is another huge chunk of revenue not coming back, that is the preprint revenue that is gone due to the massive shrinkage in the circ numbers. If all newspaper advertising was bought purely on a cpm, the circulation drops alone would account for more than 11% revenue drop in newspaper ad revenue next year. Sunday select won't do much to cover that gap.
I added Citigroup and Wells Fargo to the basket yesterday, moving to 81% cash fwiw. My doomsday scenario is looking less likely now, so I'll have to chase. Considering adding GE to the mix next week after hours of research this weekend.