The Deseret News, Utah’s longest continually published daily newspaper, today announced that it is the second fastest growing news publication in the nation, according to a recent report from the Alliance for Audited Media.
The Salt Lake City daily has earned a 15.4 percent cumulative annual circulation increase as of Sept. 30, 2012. This growth reflects an ongoing upward year-over-year trend and is attributed mainly to the nationwide distribution of its weekly national edition in all 50 states. The Deseret News is also distributed in partnership with other major newspapers across Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, and Utah. In its Nov. 2012 report, the Alliance for Audited Media ranked the Deseret News as the third fastest growing newspaper in the U.S. with an 88 percent growth in its Sunday circulation. The same report indicated a 26 percent increase in online readership, which solidified the paper’s lead as Utah’s largest newspaper in both print and online.
“The steady growth we have seen reinforces the pursuit of our unique brand of in-depth, long-form journalism, rigorously covering topics that resonate to family and faith oriented audiences across the country,” said Paul Edwards, editor of the Deseret News. “We want to be known for family and faith in the way the Washington Post is known for politics. This latest ranking indicates that there is, indeed, a national readership hungry for our content.”
The Alliance for Audited Media report also revealed that digital circulation significantly impacted the average newspaper circulation mix, accounting for approximately 15.3 percent – an increase of almost 10 percent since September 2011. According to the American Press Institute, American newspapers today generate an average of 10 - 12 percent of their revenue from digital; Deseret Digital Media generates over 30 percent of its combined revenue from its print, broadcast, and digital properties and is still growing.
This significant growth comes just three years after Harvard Business School professor of entrepreneurial management Clark Gilbert took the helm of parent company Deseret Media Company. With an expertise in media innovation, the digital transformation strategist and his team unveiled a new editorial direction for the newspaper, aimed at forging a sustainable business model for the 21st century. At the heart of Deseret Media Companies’ strategy is a specialized focus of resources on areas of editorial emphasis underserved by most other news media: Family, Financial Responsibility, Excellence in Education, Care for the Poor, Values in the Media and Faith in the Community.
A Pew Research study released this week, [Newspapers Turning Ideas into Dollars: Four Revenue Success Stories, cites the Deseret News as one of four noteworthy national newspapers defying the norm of a struggling industry and succeeding through innovation and reinvention. Pew quotes Gilbert as saying, “You have to be differentiated. Invest where you can be the best in the world . . . The failure to choose is the choice to be mediocre.” For Gilbert and the Deseret News, that choice has been to focus on in-depth coverage around the specific areas of editorial emphasis that are supporting their continued growth surge; faith, family, care for the poor, education, values in the media, and financial responsibility.