Monday, October 27, 2008

Heartbreak: Newspaper Circulation Continues to Plummet

Sure, they'll blame economic conditions, but another major reason why people are tuning out is the unrelenting bias of major newspapers.

There's no longer any denying it. Do you need any more evidence than this?
For those holding out for some improvement in print circulation, this morning brings disappointment. The Audit Bureau of Circulations released the latest figures for the six- month period ending September 2008 and the report shows major drops in circulation at the big metros.

According to ABC for the 507 newspapers reporting in this period, daily circulation slipped 4.6% to 38,165,848 copies. For the 571 papers, Sunday dropped 4.8% to 43,631,646 copies.

For comparison purposes, in September 2007 reporting period, daily circ fell 2.6% and Sunday was down 4.6%.

Across the country, publishers have put in place plans to cater to core readers and subscribers. It's too expensive to bulk up circulation in unprofitable areas such as third-party, newspapers in education and bonus day copies. Not in the core market defined by the newspaper? You are out of luck at least for the print edition.

All daily averages below are for Monday through Friday. The percent change compares this September period to the same period last year.

Daily circ at the New York Times fell 3.5% to 1,000,665 copies.

The Wall Street Journal (as we reported last week) was virtually flat, up about 1,800 copies on a daily basis to 2,011,999. USA Today was also up a fraction of a percent to 2,293,310 copies.

But The Washington Post's daily circulation declined 1.9% to 622,714. Sunday was down 3.1% to 866,057. At the Los Angeles Times circ decreased a little more 5% daily and on Sunday to 739,147 and 1,055,076, respectively. Daily circulation at the Chicago Tribune was down 7.7% to 516,032. Sunday declined 5.7% to 864,845 copies.

The San Francisco Chronicle lost 7% of its daily circulation to 339,430 copies while Sunday was down a hair more, 7.4% to 398,116. The San Jose Mercury News was down slightly, 1.9% to 224,199 and Sunday was down much more, 4.3% to 241,518.

On the East Coast, daily circulation at The Boston Globe plummeted 10.1% to 323,983 copies. Sunday circ was down 8.4% to 503,659. The Baltimore Sun’s daily circ declined 5.9% to 218,923 while Sunday fell 3.8% to 350,640.

Daily circulation at The Philadelphia Inquirer slipped 11.0% to 300,674 copies. Sunday plunged 13.7% to 556,426. At the Daily News in Philly, daily circ slipped 13.2% to 97,694.
If you ever need any evidence why circulation at the Philadelphia Inquirer is shrinking, look no further than this lunacy.

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