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Newspaper Advertising Rises 4.2 Percent In Fourth Quarter

Press release from the issuing company

Vienna, Va. – Newspaper advertising expenditures for the fourth quarter of 2004 totaled $13.7 billion, a 4.2 percent increase over the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). Additionally, advertising expenditures continued to grow rapidly on newspaper Web sites, totaling $416 million in the fourth quarter, a 24 percent increase from the same period a year ago. The combined print and online advertising expenditures for newspapers totaled $14.1 billion, a 4.7 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Among the major print components, classified advertising led the way with a 5.2 percent spending increase to $5.1 billion. National ad spending increased 3.6 percent to $2.2 billion and retail spending rose 3.7 percent to $6.5 billion. Within the classified category in the fourth quarter, recruitment advertising jumped 19.1 percent to $1.4 billion. Real estate ad spending continued to be strong, increasing 7.7 percent to $1.3 billion. Automotive dipped 6.2 percent to $1.6 billion. All other classifieds were up 4.9 percent to $876 million. “Fourth quarter ad performance was solid across the three major categories in what has otherwise been a spotty advertising market recovery,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. “Of particular note is the strong growth in newspaper Web site advertising, which we are reporting separately for the first time. Publishers are reaching longtime readers in new ways and attracting new readers by extending their trusted masthead news brands to the Internet. As a result, newspaper Web sites rank among the most visited online news sources in the nation and are attracting a healthy share of the rapidly growing Internet advertising segment.” For the full year, ad spending in printed weekday and Sunday newspapers increased 3.9 percent to $46.7 billion. Classified lead the way with a 5.1 percent gain to $16.6 billion. National ad spending rose 3.7 percent to $8.1 billion and retailers lifted their ad spending in newspapers 3.1 percent to $22.0 billion. Ad spending on newspaper Web sites rose 26.7 percent for the full year, reaching a new record of $1.5 billion. The combined print and online ad spending total rose 4.5 percent to $48.2 billion for 2004. In classified for the full year, recruitment ad spending rose 15.1 percent to $4.6 billion, and real estate increased 6.8 percent to $4.2 billion. Automotive classified dropped 3.4 percent to $5.0 billion and all other classified rose 4.4 percent to $2.8 billion. “Overall results for the quarter were in line with our expectations, led by good classified performance,” said NAA Vice President of Business Analysis and Research Jim Conaghan. “We expect similar trends to drive industry advertising revenue growth in 2005, with the Internet playing a growing role in supplementing print advertising growth.”