The newspaper industry just suffered the most catastrophic drop in ad revenue since, well -- since anyone started measuring ad revenue.
According to new data released by the Newspaper Association of America, total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006 -- the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950.
The drop-off points to an economic slowdown on top of the secular challenges faced by the industry. The second worst decline in advertising revenue occurred in 2001 when it fell 9.0%.
Total advertising revenue in 2007 -- including online revenue -- decreased 7.9% to $45.3 billion compared to the prior year.
The Associated Press did not return my calls requesting comments.