Across the board, media industries lost ad revenue last year, with one exception: cable news, which saw a slightly positive gain in the percentage of growth for 2009. No other media sector was spared. The newspaper industry continued to struggle with a 26% drop in ad revenue from the year before. These losses include revenue from online advertisements, providing further evidence that conventional advertising online will never sustain the industry. Last year’s losses brings the total loss in newspaper ad revenue over the last three years to 43%. Local television ad revenue fell 22% in 2009; triple the decline the year before. Network television did slightly better, losing only 8% (though network news probably lost more). Radio ad revenue fell 22%. Magazine ad revenue dropped 17%. Online ad revenue overall fell about 5%, but, again, revenue to news sites most likely fared much worse. The market research and investment banking firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson projects that by 2013, after the economic recovery, three elements of old media — newspapers, radio and magazines — will take in 41% less in ad revenues than they did in 2006. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.