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Advertising expenditures for newspaper websites increased 19.3%, to $796 million, in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago, according to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

The increase is the 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for online newspaper advertising since NAA started reporting online ad spending in 2004.

Newspaper website advertising in 2Q07 accounted for 7% of total newspaper ad spending, compared with 5.4% in 2Q06, according to the NAA data.

“Newspaper websites continue to have a positive impact on the industry’s revenue stream during a time of transition,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. “As newspapers transform themselves into multimedia platforms offering a diverse portfolio of print and digital products, publishers continue to deliver…content that makes newspapers the most trusted source of news and information.”

“Advertisers know that newspaper websites are ideal for reaching online users with the most attractive demographics,” he added.

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Total advertising expenditures at newspaper companies were $11.3 billion in the second quarter – an 8.6% decrease from 2Q06. Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $10.5 billion, down 10.2% from the year-earlier period.

Sturm chalked up the print-ad revenue decreases to “cyclical swings in the US economy, as well as structural changes in the businesses of major advertisers.”

Among the major print components in the second quarter, classified advertising fell 16.4% to $3.4 billion. Retail declined 6.4% to $5.2 billion, and national was down 7.9%, coming in at $1.8 billion.

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Within the classified print category in the second quarter, real estate advertising fell 20.7% to $966.8 million. Recruitment dropped 18.5% to $995.4 million. Automotive was down 19.3% to $756.3 million. All other classifieds were down 1.8% to $716.1 million.

Quarterly and annual ad spending numbers in their entirety are available at the NAA site.

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