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Online ads keep Tribune steady

Newspapers continue to report increased online advertising revenues. This week the Tribune company, owners of papers including the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times, announced that first quarter interactive advertising revenues were up 31% to $51 million.

The figure sounds good but it was put into perspective by Dennis FitzSimons, of the Tribune company, at a Newspaper Association of America conference reported by Online Media Daily. He said the expected online revenue this year of £225 million would be about 6% of the business’s publishing revenue.

“We look to increase to… approximately 12% to 15% of publishing revenues in 2010,” he said.

Overall the group’s ad revenues during the quarter were flat increasing by 1%. Circulation revenues were down by 4% for the quarter.

This all looks far from healthy for journalism with ad revenue effectively moving from print to online but not growing overall to support the extra editorial costs of running and developing web sites.

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