Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Advertising Climate Still Cloudy

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Advertising Climate Still Cloudy

Article excerpt

Despite all the talk of blue skies on the horizon, newspapers see no sudden change in the weather

For many news-papers, particularly those in big markets, this year is starting out by looking a lot like last year. A turnaround in the advertising recession remained out of clear sight as publicly held newspaper companies began reporting fourth- quarter and full-year earnings last week, although some said ad declines were beginning to ease in the first few weeks of the year.

Dow Jones & Co. Inc., whose reliance on national and financial advertising has made it especially vulnerable, said it expects linage at its flagship, The Wall Street Journal, to be down 20% to 30% in the first quarter following a 41.5% drop in the fourth quarter last year.

Knight Ridder posted a profit in its last quarter, albeit more reflective of charges in the year-ago period than of a strong financial picture. Ad revenue declined 11.8% in the fourth quarter from the same period a year ago (excluding an extra week in the year-ago quarter for easier comparisons), and the No. 2 U.S. newspaper company sees no upturn in January. Its papers in Philadelphia and San Jose, Calif. …

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