ABC Reveals Big Drops in Circ in Spring 2007

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By: Jennifer Saba

Blame the big metro papers — again. The Audit Bureau of Circulations released the spring numbers this morning, revealing more plunges in daily and Sunday circulation.

As in the past, the losses are steep while gains are minimal. This is the fifth consecutive reporting period that overall newspaper circulation experienced big drops, despite easing comparisons. For all papers reporting daily circulation, the Newspaper Association of America said that daily circ fell 2.1% while Sunday tumbled 3.1%.

All daily averages reported are for Monday through Friday. The comparisons are based on the six-month period ending March 2007 and the six-month period ending March 2006.

The three large national papers made some strides in increases. However, The New York Times, which usually experiences small gains, lost daily circulation, down 1.9% to 1,120,420 while Sunday fell 3.3% to 1,627,062. USA Today reported that daily circulation was up 0.2% to 2,278,022. As reported earlier, The Wall Street Journal also increased, up 0.6% to 2,062,312.

The New York Post soared past the New York Daily News. Daily circ at that paper jumped 7.6% to 724748 and Sunday increased 6.5% to 439,202. At the Daily News, weekday circ grew 1.3% to 718,174 while Sunday was down 2.4% to 775,543.

Some of the largest declines occurred at metro papers. The Dallas Morning News hemorrhaged 14.2% of daily circ to 411,919. Sunday fell 13.3% to 563,079. Daily and Sunday circulation at The San Diego Union-Tribune slipped 6.5% to 296,331 and 7.2% to 378696 respectively. At the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, daily circ declined 4.9% to 230,870 and Sunday decreased 4.4% to 251,666.

The Miami Herald lost 5.5% of its daily circulation to 272,299 copies and 10.1% of its Sunday circ 342,432 copies. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale was down 8.6% to 226,591 while Sunday fell 6% to 319,103. The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., which recently revised its September 2006 publisher’s statement, said daily circ fell 6% to 372,629. Sunday dropped 4.3% to 570,523.

Daily circulation at The Orange County (Calif.) Register slipped 5% to 284,613 while Sunday was down 7% to 329,549. The Austin American-Statesman reported daily circ dropped 5.6% to 173,579 and Sunday declined 215,894.

The Los Angeles Times lost 4.2% of its weekday circ to 815,723. Sunday was down 4.7% to 1,173,096. Daily Circulation at the Chicago Tribune slipped 2.1% to 566,827. Sunday fell 1.7% to 940,620. At The Sun in Baltimore, weekday circulation 1.7% to 232,138 and Sunday dropped 6% to 377,561. Daily and Sunday circulation at Newsday plummeted 6.9% to 398,231 and 5% to 464,169.

The Washington Post lost 3.4% of its weekday circ to 699,130 copies. Sunday fell 3.2% to 929,921.

Daily circulation at The Boston Globe slipped 3.7% to 382,503. Sunday declined 6.9% to 562,273. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that weekday circ declined 2% to 357,399 while Sunday dropped 6.7% to 523,687. Weekday circulation at the San Francisco Chronicle slipped 2.9% to 386,564 while Sunday decreased 2.9% to 438,006.

For some of the papers under a joint operating agreement: the Detroit Free Press said daily circulation was down 4.7% to 329,989. At the Detroit News, daily circ dropped 6% to 202,029. The Denver Post lost 0.9% of its daily circ to 254058 copies. And The Rocky Mountain News reported similar declines with daily down 1% to 253,834. Combined Sunday circ for the Denver papers slipped 0.7% to 704,168.

The Seattle Times said daily circ fell 0.4% to 219,722 while the Post-Intelligencer reported it declined 2.8% to 128,012. Combined Sunday circ was down 2.7% to 423,635.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported daily circ dropped 4.8% to 345,252. Sunday declined 5.1% to 575,406. Weekday circulation at the Orlando Sentinel slipped 1% to 226,854 and 1.5% on Sunday to 335,689.

The Houston Chronicle lost some daily and Sunday circ down 2% to 503,114 and 2.1% to 677,425, respectively. The number of weekday copies declined 3.6% to 210,990 at the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Sunday decreased 5.7% to 304,200.

Among the losses at the bigger papers there were metros that reported some gains or slight declines in daily circulation. As reported last week, the Indianapolis Star reported some of the biggest increases for metros, up 2.4% to 261,405. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s weekday circ rose 0.4% to 278,999. The San Antonio Express-News said its daily circ was down slightly 0.5% to 236,918.

Daily circ at the St. Petersburg Times was virtually flat at 322,771. Sunday gained 2% to 430,893. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland was up 0.4% to 344,704. The Charlotte Observer lost 1.2% of its daily circ to 215,379. The Raleigh News & Observer’s daily circ dropped 0.4% to 177,361.

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Related E&P Stories:

NAA Analysis of ABC Confirms Overall Circ Slide

FAS-FAX Circ Numbers for the Top 25 Dailies and Sunday Papers



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