Newspaper Circulation Declines 2.6 Percent

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Haydnseek
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Newspaper Circulation Declines 2.6 Percent

Post by Haydnseek » Mon May 08, 2006 10:45 am

Newspaper Circulation Declines 2.6 Percent
Monday May 8, 11:26 am ET
By Seth Sutel, AP Business Writer

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060508/newspape ... .html?.v=5

NEW YORK (AP) -- Newspaper circulation fell 2.6 percent in the six-month period ending in March, according to data released Monday, as more people turned to the Internet and other media outlets for news and information.

The decline in average paid weekday circulation was about the same as the previous six-month reporting cycle for the period ending last September, according to the Newspaper Association of America, a trade group.

Average paid circulation at Sunday newspapers fell 3.1 percent versus the same period a year ago, also a comparable decline with the last time circulation tallies were reported, the NAA said.

The figures were based on NAA's analysis of circulation figures released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, a separate group which reports figures on individual newspapers but not industrywide data.

Despite the declines in paid copies, the NAA also reported Monday that newspaper-run Web sites had an 8 percent increase in viewers in the first quarter. The data from Nielsen/NetRatings found that newspaper Web sites averaged 56 million users in the period, or 37 percent of all online users in the period, the NAA said.

According to Audit Bureau data, Gannett Co.'s USA Today remained the top-selling newspaper with 2,272,815 copies, up 0.09 percent from the same period a year ago; while The Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones & Co., was second with 2,049,786, down 1 percent.

Several top newspapers reported significant declines in the period, including Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times, down 5.4 percent at 851,832; The Washington Post, down 3.7 percent at 724,242; the New York Daily News, also down 3.7 percent at 708,477. News Corp.'s New York Post slipped 0.7 percent to 673,379.

The largest slump at a major daily came at the San Francisco Chronicle, where average paid weekday circulation fell 15.6 percent to 398,246 as the newspaper continued to cut back on less desirable circulation such as copies paid for by advertisers and then distributed for free.

Patricia Hoyt, a spokeswoman for the Chronicle, said the cutbacks began at the beginning of last year and involved copies that "advertisers didn't value, were quite costly and essentially had no impact on our readership."

The Chronicle, which is owned by Hearst Corp., reported a similar decline in paid circulation for the previous six-month reporting period that ended last September.

Several other large newspapers also reported declines, including The Boston Globe, down 8.5 percent to 397,288, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, down 6.7 percent to 365,011. The Globe is owned by The New York Times Co. and the Journal-Constitution by Cox Enterprises Inc.

Besides USA Today, a handful of other major newspapers reported modest circulation gains in the period: The New York Times, up 0.5 percent at 1,142,464; Tribune Co.'s Chicago Tribune, up 0.9 percent at 579,079; and The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., up 0.9 percent at 398,329. The Star-Ledger is owned by Advance Publications Inc.

http://www.naa.org
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 08, 2006 12:32 pm

Web sites account for a significant part of the circulation decline. Newspapers like the Times are aggresively marketing their online edition.
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon May 08, 2006 2:16 pm

Ralph wrote:Web sites account for a significant part of the circulation decline. Newspapers like the Times are aggresively marketing their online edition.
Kind of sad, isn't it? I subscribe to the online New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and of course the incomparable Glens Falls Post-Star (the only one that charges). I haven't visited the entire bunch even half a dozen times in the last year. When I arrive back in the states in six weeks, I will buy the Times every day, and my mother already subscribes to the Post Star. Reading them will be the highlight of my day. Online versions just aren't the same.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon May 08, 2006 3:10 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Online versions just aren't the same.
I agree, but the nice thing about them is that I don't have to put up with a lot of crap I don't want to read. I go looking for specific stories - about 6-7 times a week. I have enough trouble keeping up with the Herald Journal, which I use mainly for my paper-trained dog.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Mon May 08, 2006 9:29 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: Online versions just aren't the same.
I agree, but the nice thing about them is that I don't have to put up with a lot of crap I don't want to read. I go looking for specific stories - about 6-7 times a week. I have enough trouble keeping up with the Herald Journal, which I use mainly for my paper-trained dog.
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