IAJ co-founder Steve Ross has long argued that Craig's List HAS NOT contributed in a major way to the decline of North American newspaper advertising revenues. Here's his latest analysis:

This isn't rocket science. Craig's List had NOTHING to do with a supposed decline in classified ad revenue.

Here's the raw PRINT classified revenue data, right off the NAA website. (If anyone doesn't use excel 2007 I can send the data file in another format, but everyone should be able to read the chart as a jpg). Click here for bar chart

Note that the big change that pushed classified ad volume up in the 90s was employment advertising. Damn right. The country added 30 million new jobs in that period, and the number of new people entering the workforce declined because births had declined in the mid-1970s. More competition for bodies = more advertising needed.

Knock out the employment data and everything else stayed steady or INCREASED for newspaper classified. The past 7 years were not as good for employment ads, but still better than in pre-web days. . . .

All those corrections make this look even better for newspapers.

This is SO OBVIOUS that I just do not understand the "Craigs List has killed us" argument or even the "web killed us" argument.

It is (to me, anyway) a transparent lie. Either the newspaper barons are so inanely stupid that they don't understand their own business, or they are incompetent managers, looking for an excuse. Maybe both. (Click here for full column.)