Analyst: Newspaper ad declines to abate in 2013

Analyst: Newspaper ad declines to slow in 2013 as economy improves, real estate stabilizes

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Advertising revenue declines for companies that publish newspapers will slow slightly in 2013, thanks to a modestly improving economy and some stabilization in the real estate market, an analyst said Wednesday.

Benchmark analyst Ed Atorino said in a research note Wednesday that he expects ad revenues for these companies to fall 4 to 7 percent this year and slow to a decline of 3 to 5 percent in 2013.

Newspaper revenues have plunged in the last decade. Combined print and online ad revenue for newspapers fell to $23.9 billion in 2011 from $46.2 billion in 2003, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Atorino is a bit more optimistic because of slightly smaller declines in print advertising and continued growth in digital newspaper advertising.

How an improved real estate market could help newspapers was underlined last Friday, when The Wall Street Journal launched the first edition of its new weekly real estate section, called "Mansion." The section was full of ads for upper-end properties and led off with a feature on the three homes owned by poet Maya Angelou.

Shares of newspaper publishers were mixed in midday trading Wednesday. Shares of Wall Street Journal publisher News Corp. fell 29 cents to $24.33, while McClatchy Co. shares rose 14 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $2.70. New York Times Co. shares were down 17 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $9.88. USA Today publisher Gannett Co. shares fell 27 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $17.62.

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