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Canadian newspapers saw revenue fall 13% in last five years

A man runs past newspaper boxes in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday March 29, 2012.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Revenue has decreased by 13 per cent across Canada's newspaper industry over the last five years, Statistics Canada reported, and publishers have responded by cutting their expenses and payrolls.

The report says the country's newspapers earned $4.7-billion in revenue in 2012, down from $5.4-billion in 2008. The survey previously collected data annually, but has switched to every two years so comparable data for 2011 isn't available.

Operating expenses were $4.2-billion in 2012, a 12.5-per-cent drop from 2008 when they were $4.8-billion. The amount paid out in salaries, meanwhile, decreased by 16 per cent to $1.6-billion from $1.9-billion in 2008.

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The industry was still profitable at the end of last year, with a profit margin of 11.1 per cent (compared to 12 per cent in 2008).

Newspapers have been steadily shedding costs since the recession, as advertisers reduced their print advertising budgets and more readers turned to online alternatives to consume the news they create. There was another cut this week, when Sun Media said it would cut 200 jobs from its workforce of approximately 3,800 because of "profound, unprecedented changes in the print media industry driven largely by the digital revolution."

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