Circulation Plunges at Major Newspapers
Circulation at the nation’s largest newspapers plunged over the last six months, according to figures released today. The decline, one of the steepest on record, adds to the woes of a mature industry beset by layoffs and the possible sale of some of its flagships. Overall, average daily circulation for 770 newspapers was 2.8 percent lower in the six-month period ending Sept. 30 than in the comparable period last year, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported. Circulation for 619 Sunday papers fell by 3.4 percent.But some papers fared much worse. The Los Angeles Times lost 8 percent of its daily circulation, and 6 percent on Sunday. The Boston Globe, owned by The New York Times Company, lost 6.7 percent of its daily circulation and almost 10 percent on Sunday.The New York Times, one of the few major papers whose circulation held steady over the last few reporting periods, did not emerge unscathed this time: its daily and Sunday circulation each fell 3.5 percent. The Washington Post suffered similar declines.The Wall Street Journal’s new Weekend Edition, just over a year old, lost 6.7 of its circulation from a year ago.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, which changed hands earlier this year and where the new owner is in the middle of difficult contract negotiations with the paper’s unions, lost 7.6 percent of its daily circulation and 4.5 percent on Sunday.
Newspaper circulation has been in a long, slow decline for decades. But the pace of loss seems accelerated now, as the industry tries to adjust to the steady migration of readers and advertisers to the Internet.
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