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Advertising expenditures for newspaper websites increased 22.3%, to $750 million, in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2006, according to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America.

The increase is the 12th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for online newspaper advertising since NAA started reporting online ad spending in 2004, the NAA said.

Advertising on newspaper sites made up 7.1% of total newspaper ad spending in the first quarter, compared with 5.5% for the same period a year earlier.

Overall, advertising expenditures at newspapers and their websites totaled $10.6 billion for the first quarter of 2007, a 4.8% decrease from the year-earlier period.

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Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $9.8 billion, down 6.4% from a year earlier. Among the major print components in the first quarter…

  • Classified advertising fell 13.2% to $3.4 billion.
  • Retail declined 2.2% to $4.8 billion
  • National was down 2.8%, coming in at $1.7 billion.

Within the classified print category in the first quarter…

  • Real estate advertising fell 14.2% to $953 million.
  • Recruitment dropped 14.3% to $975.3 million.
  • Automotive was down 20.1% to $751.3 million.
  • All other classifieds were down 0.5% to $699.3 million.

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