Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Newspaper Circulation Continues to Drop

Not surprisingly, daily circulation of the top 395 newspapers feel 7.1 percent, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation, which monitors circulation figures for newspapers. Not sure if that 395 includes the late Rocky Mountain News, the online-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, which have cut back their midweek production runs.

Both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald lost circulation. I would bet that the Globe will find a big drop this quarter, as a result of the saber rattling by the NY Times Co. that it may close down the Globe. Nothing like announcing troubles at a print property to exacerbate worries among advertisers and subscribers.

That would explain the significant drop in circulation at the Philadelphia Inquirer (-13.8%) which filed for bankruptcy protection or the San Francisco Chronicle (-15.7%), which may shift to online-only mode.

Not sure what explains the drop (-7.5%) at USA Today. Since so many people get USA Today free when traveling, I assume the circ drop is the result of the drop in hotel stays.

Balancing the drop in circ. is the increase in people reading newspaper websites. With all the attention to the fact you can get the same news, faster and free plus have less ink on your hands, it makes sense that people would switch to online versions.

Looks like the Detroit Free Press may be finally living up to its name. As long as it drops the "Press" part of its name. You can check out the grid here: 

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