Newspaper Circulation Continues Downward Trend

newspaper32American newspaper circulation persists to nose-dive. That is an established fact from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, whose report of the recent six-month period, ended on 31 March, reports that average weekday circulation fell 8.7 percent; Sunday circulation fell 6.5 percent. The Huffington Post reports, “That’s a slight improvement from April through September of last year, when average weekday circulation dropped 10.6 percent from a year earlier and Sunday circulation fell 7.5 percent.” Improvement perhaps, small and major ones alike-most newspapers are experiencing some loss. “Of the 21 big metros whose circulation could be directly compared to the year-ago period fully,” reported Editors&Publishers, “10 fell by double-digit percentages.”

The Top 25 list by Daily Circulation, posted on Editors&Publishers.com, ranks the Newark Star-Ledger No. 25 in the country. The newspaper’s circulation has decreased in daily circulation by 17.79 percent to 236,017.

The Wall Street Journal ranks No. 1 as the newspaper with the largest U.S. circulation. It’s the only newspaper to rise in daily circulation (no circulation on Sundays), 0.5 percent to 2.09 million among the top 25. The New York Times reports that “The Journal’s numbers were helped by the 414,000 paid subscribers to its electronic editions including its Web site, which are included in the figures.” Few newspapers charge for their Web sites and their online readership is not included in the circulation bureau’s calculation. Paid subscriptions to their other electronic editions, like on the Kindle, are included.

The New York Times reports that its circulation dropped 5.1 percent on Sunday, to 1.4 million copies, and 8.5 percent on weekdays, to 950,000, that the Los Angeles Time declined 7.6 percent on Sunday and 14.7 percent during the week, and The Chicago Tribune fell 7.5 percent on Sunday and 9.8 percent during the week.

“In a way, the new circulation figures mirror the industry’s advertising trends,” reports The Huffington Post. “While most major newspapers continue to see ad revenue decline compared with year-ago figures, the drop is becoming less extreme.”

“There are many reasons for the declines in newspaper circulation,” reports The Huffington Post, “including the rise of free news on the Web. Publishers also have sought to offset losses in advertising revenue by raising newsstand and subscription prices.

“Although audited circulation data at a local level remains important to certain types of advertisers — particularly insert advertisers — bottom-line paid circulation data in an aggregated industry level does not tell the whole story about the vitality of the newspaper industry,” Newspaper Association of America CEO John Sturm said in a statement.

Sturm told The Huffington Post that recent studies by Scarborough Research and Nielsen Online showing nearly 100 million adults still read a printed newspaper every day and that newspaper Web sites averaged more than 74 million unique visitors a month during the first quarter. Newjerseynewsroom.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The APP keeps calling me to subscribe. I told them to wake up. I can see more news on my blackberry in a minute. Why bother reading their paper. I feel bad for zack.

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