LinkedIn created an interesting graphic on industry outlooks, based on the most recent Council of Economic Advisors' Economic Report of the President.
The recent Newspaper Association of America numbers show that newspaper revenues have fallen by about half since 2005 (the report is discussed in more detail in a previous post), and if you control for inflation, 2011 revenues are the lowest since 1951. While part of the decline in recent years has been a result of the recession, and the loss of several key advertising markets to online competition (classified ad and employment ad revenues have both dropped by more than 90% in the last decade), there's a more critical long-term problem. Advertising rates, and revenues, are based on readership. Newspaper readership dropped from 80% in 1964 to below 50% in 2006. Even with combining print and online edition readership, newspapers reached less than 45% of U.S. adults in 2011. Furthermore, the decline is generational, and so is likely to continue falling for a while.
Now one caution is that some of this depends on how you define "newspapers." The largest urban dailies have the most revenues, subscribers, and employees - and they're the segment of the newspaper industry that is doing the poorest. There are segments of the newspaper industry that are doing reasonably well (mostly smaller papers), and most of the industry remains profitable, although not at the levels experienced before 2000.
As in previous posts, I'll suggest that these results shouldn't spell the end for "newspapers." At least not necessarily. But between the higher revenue growth in online advertising, and recent research from Pew and others (see this earlier post) suggesting that mobile devices might increase use of news sources, suggests that newspapers as news organizations may survive if they shift more of their focus to online news efforts, and do a better job of providing the kinds of information that people seek.
Sources: Newspapers America's Fastest Shrinking Industry, Breitbart Big Journalism blog
LinkedIn Industry Trends: Winners and Losers During the Great Recession, LinkIn Blog
US Online Spending to Surpass Print in 2012, eMarketer