BIGGEST PAPERS GAIN IN LATEST REPORTS

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Audit Bureau of Circulations Releases March Circulation Reports


Weekday newspapers sales inched up in some of the nation’s biggest markets,
according to figures released this weekend in the Audit Bureau of Circulations
FAS-FAX report for the six months ended March 31.

The daily gains were paced by the three nationally circulated papers. USA
Today, measured on a five-day average, was again the largest daily in
America, gaining 26,144 copies over the same period last year for a weekday
average circulation of 1,852,592. The Wall Street Journal gained 3,907
copies over the year for a circulation of 1,819,528. The New York Times
gained just under 1% in circulation for a weekday average of 1,159,954.

Leaving its joint operating agency partner proved a circulation tonic for the
San Francisco Chronicle. Its circulation soared 13.4% or more than 62,000
copies, to 527,466. The San Francisco Examiner, which was sold to the
Fang family last year, did not report results because it is under a “voluntary
temporary suspension of service,” the FAS-FAX report said. The tabloid New
York Post was another big winner this reporting period, with an 11.6% year-
to-year gain for a circulation of 487,219.

Its tabloid competitors had mixed success, with Newsday gaining two-
tenths of one percentage point and the New York Daily News declining by
2% to 716,095.

Among the other metro gainers were The Dallas Morning News, the
Chicago Sun-Times, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, and The
Star-Ledger in Newark.

The big loser among America’s biggest papers was the Los Angeles Times,
which declined 53,290 copies, or 4.8%, to 1,058,494. Also off significantly were
The Philadelphia Inquirer (down 3% to 392,728) and The Plain
Dealer in Cleveland (down 4% to 363,693).

ABC FAS-FAX FOR TOP 20 DAILY NEWSPAPERS
(For six months ended March 31, 2001)

Average Gain/(Loss)
Daily same period
Circulation last year

1. The Wall Street Journal (M-F) 1,819,528 +3,907 0.4%
2. USA Today (M-Thu)* 1,769,650 +11,951 0.7%
3. The New York Times (M-F) 1,159,954 +10,378 0.9%
4. Los Angeles Times (M-F) 1,058,494 -53,290 (4.8%)
5. Washington Post (M-F) 802,594 -9,965 (1.2%)
6. New York Daily News(m)(M-F) 716,095 -14,447 (2%)
7. Chicago Tribune (W-F)** 676,573 +1,970 0.3%
8. Newsday (M-F) 576,692 +1,097 0.2%
9. Houston Chronicle (M-Sat) 545,066 -8,396 (1.5%)
10. San Francisco Chronicle
(all-day)(M-F) 527,466 +62,523 13.4%
11. Dallas Morning News (M-Thu)*** 500,357 +4,174 0.8%
12. New York Post (M-F) 487,219 +50,675 11.6%
13. Chicago Sun-Times (M-F) 484,423 +2,217 0.5%
14. Phoenix Arizona Republic (M-F) 482,259 +142 0%
15. Boston Globe (M-F) 467,217 -9,877 (2%)
16. Newark Star-Ledger (M-F) 407,592 +1,023 0.3%
17. Star-Tribune, Minneapolis
(Thu-Sat)**** 399,019 -7,390 (1.8%)
18. Philadelphia Inquirer (M-F) 404,860 -12,132 (3%)
19. San Diego Union-Tribune (M-Sat) 374,133 -7,167 (1.9%)
20. Cleveland Plain Dealer (M-Sat) 363,693 -15,290 (4%)

*USA Today Friday edition reported in FAS-FAX as 2,184,359, a gain from year-ago
period of 26,144 copies, or 0.1%. M-F average calculated by E&P: 1,852,592, an
increase of 14,790 copies or 0.8%.
**M-F average calculated by E&P: 621,870, a decrease of 11,729 copies or 1.9%
compared to same period last year.
***M-F average calculated by E&P: 516,256, an increase of 726 copies or 0.1%
over same period last year.
****M-F average calculated by E&P: 367,971, a decrease of 4,728 copies or 1.3%
compared to same period last year.

ABC FAS-FAX FOR TOP 20 SUNDAY PAPERS
(For six months ended March 31, 2001)

Average Gain/(Loss)
Sunday same period
Circulation last year


1. The New York Times 1,698,281 +6,994 0.4%
2. Los Angeles Times 1,391,343 +6,656 0.5%
3. The Washington Post 1,070,809 -16,450 (1.5%)
4. Chicago Tribune 1,001,662 -24,776 (2.4%%)
5. Denver Post 970,934 *
6. New York Sunday News 821,080 850 0%
7. The Dallas Morning News 782,748 -1,196 (0.2%)
8. Philadelphia Inquirer 762,194 -42,551 (5.3%)
9. Detroit News &
Free Press 738,248 -21,969 (2.9%)
10. Houston Chronicle 737,626 -10,177 (1.3%)
11. Boston Globe 710,256 -12,519 (1.7%)
12. Minneapolis/
St. Paul Star Tribune 668,560 -11,113 (1.6%)
13. Newsday 663,220 +1,111 (0.2%)
14. Atlanta Journal &
Constitution 651,694 -27,514 (4%)
15. Newark Star-Ledger 606,452 -1,029 (0.2%)
16. Phoenix Arizona Republic 599,450 -10,049 (1.7%)
17. San Francisco Chronicle 540,074 -30,679 (5.4%)
18. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 483,628 -16,496 (3.3%)
19. Seattle Times/
Post-Intelligencer 482,978 -17,910 (3.6%)
20. Cleveland Plain Dealer 480,878 -11,834 (2.4%)



Mark Fitzgerald (mfitzgerald@editorandpublisher.com) is editor at large for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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