Logo from a Yellow Pages telephone directory
Logo from a Yellow Pages telephone directory - 
Listen To The Story


Stacey Vanek-Smith: And speaking of industries that are having a difficult time, 2008 has been called the worst year ever for newspapers. Advertisers are pulling out, revenue is falling, and layoffs are hammering newsrooms.

But not every publication is feeling the pain. This is shaping up to be a banner year for the Yellow Pages. Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.

Dan Grech: There are more than 200 publishers of Yellow Pages in the U.S. And the industry expects to top $17 billion in revenue for the first time this year.

Stephanie Hobbs: We consider ourselves in the Yellow Pages to be the original search engine.

That's Stephanie Hobbs with the Yellow Pages Association. She says the Internet hasn't killed their ad sales, because print directories still draw users with shopping on their mind.

Hobbs: They're not browsing. They're ready to buy. Roughly 86 percent of the people that turn to the print product either make a purchase or will make one within a week.

The number of Yellow Page directories published each year is double the U.S. population. At least seven states have tried to limit their distribution to avoid waste, so far without success.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.