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Combined print and online newspaper advertising revenues totaled $6.6 billion in the first quarter of 2009, a precipitous tumble of more than 28% over the same period in 2008 when total revenue was $9.2 billion, according to figures from the Newspaper Association of America.

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Q1 saw across-the-board declines in both print and online formats, NAA reported. Print classified advertising took the hardest hit, falling 42% over the same period last year, while other print formats – including national? (-26%) and retail (-24%) – contributed to the steep revenue drops.? Overall, print declined nearly 28%, from $8.4 billion in Q108 to $5.9 billion in Q109.

Print expenditures are now at roughly the same levels as they were in 1985, NAA data revealed.

Online newspaper advertising revenues amounted to $696 million for the quarter, declining 13% over the $804 million logged in Q108.

Overall, the figures represent the most dramatic year-over-year quarterly decline since recordkeeping began.

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