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Local Newspaper Sites Absorb Greatest Portion of Local Ad Dollars

A study from Borrell Associates shows local newspaper websites are getting the largest share of local ad spending among media companies, reports Editor and Publisher.

The "What Local Media Sites Earn" report found local newspaper websites capture an average of 11.7 percent of local advertising dollars, amounting to over $2 billion. The highest earner in the top 200 papers generated over 78 percent of local spend in its market.

In total, newspapers brought in $3.2 billion in revenue in 2007, or 24.6 percent of overall ad spending. That sets it well ahead of the second-place media format, Broadcast Television Sites, which brought in 6.9 percent of local spend.

Local radio gets just 0.8 percent.

Over half of local spend, 57.3 percent, goes to online players like Google, which, because of the breadth of its offerings, attracts a broader audience than local news sites.

The report found the biggest newspapers now generate over half their revenues from non-print ad operations, with the most successful being those least dependent on classified advertising operations.

But classifieds, which are most susceptible to free online competition, are still perceived as crucial to newspapers because of their high profit margins.


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