IIrsquo;m hearing that classified advertising at the major Southern California newspapers took a slight upswing in January and February – especially real estate. Not huge upswings, but publishers are beginning to believe they’ve reached bottom.

What might this portend?

Similar upturns in real estate advertising – and maybe the broader classified sector – by early 2010 in other U.S. markets.

Real estate advertising began collapsing in Southern California in mid-2006, a precursor to the sub-prime mortgage crisis that hit other U.S. newspapers in mid-2007.

The good news for California newspapers in this downturn: Despite the roller-coaster ride, newspapers maintained their market share.