More Evidence That Online Advertising Is Slowing (and Newspapers Are Suffering)

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by: David Jackson

Here's what newspaper company Journal Communications (NYSE:JRN) had to say about the overall advertising market, and online advertising in particular, on its conference call:

Classified advertising at the daily newspaper of $12.1 million, which includes both print and online, decreased about 22% for the second quarter of 2008. This represents the eleventh consecutive quarter-over-quarter revenue decrease in classified advertising. Looking specifically at the verticals, employment was down 25.7%, auto declined about 18%, real estate was down about 31%, and the other classified vertical was up slightly year over year.

On a combined retail and classified basis for all products of the daily newspaper, auto advertising was down by just over $1 million or 24.4% compared to last year. Our national advertising revenue category decreased 20% to $1.5 million for the quarter. This reflected decreases in the dining and entertainment, business services, and communications categories. The direct marketing category at the daily newspaper was down about 21%. This decline represents a decrease in solo mailings.

Although interactive advertising is included in the various revenue categories, total online revenue increased by roughly 11% to $3.7 million for the second quarter. It is important to note, however, that during the quarter, each month we experienced declining rates of increase in total online revenue. Interactive classified revenue of $2.4 million increased 14%. Looking specifically at the second quarter 2008 online classified verticals, employment increased by about 17% to $1.3 million due to growing momentum for the ancillary services of our JobNoggin employment site. Auto increased about 27%, up almost $200,000. However, real estate decreased by roughly 25%, representing third consecutive quarter of declines.

The quotes are taken from the Journal Communications transcript which was published on Seeking Alpha a few hours after the call ended. You can find other transcripts from the media industry here.