More bad news for newspapers: advertising at Gannett down 17.6%

Now it’s official: the death spiral of newspapers is accelerating, with the largest newspaper publisher in the United States reporting an increased decline in advertising revenue.

Gannett, which publishes the USA Today and a range of titles domestically and overseas saw newspaper advertising revenue drop 17.6% in the quarter, inline with declines of 16% at the NY Times company and 19.9% at McClatchy Co. All three results are deeper than the 14% decline reported industry wide for the first half of 2008.

Like its competitors, classified advertising is taking the biggest hit, declining 28.5% for Gannett vs declines in retail ad revenue at 10.1% and national down 7.8%. Real estate classifieds dropped 33.4%, help-wanted was down 36.5%; and automotive slipped 18.7%.

Unlike some of the others who have reported steady or small increases in circulation revenue of the back of increased prices, circulation revenue fell 3.3%.

E&P has more.