‘L.A.Times’ Reports Circ Plunge, and Explains It

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By: E&P Staff

For the six months ended March 31, 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday-Saturday average daily circulation of 907,997, a decline of 6.5 percent compared with the prior year, and Sunday circulation of 1,253,849, a decline of 7.9 percent from the prior year, according to figures filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, subject to audit.

According to a statement from the paper this afternoon, “Excluding the effect of a reduction in third-party bulk sales, daily circulation would have declined 5.2 percent and Sunday would have declined 4.7 percent.

“These circulation declines are driven by the same issues that impacted our September circulation statement,” said Jeffrey M. Johnson, Los Angeles Times executive vice president and general manager, who will become president, publisher and CEO on June 1. “These include the transition to more targeted sales channels from a heavy reliance on telemarketing and the decision to deliberately reduce certain types of circulation, such as third-party bulk sales. The reality is that it takes two six-month reporting statements to cycle through these changes.

“The Los Angeles Times continues to deliver the largest audience in Southern California with an average daily readership of 2.4 million and 3.5 million on Sunday, according to Scarborough 2004 Los Angeles Report. To strengthen this market position, we’re investing in various strategies and programs to increase readership that should begin to show results in September,” added Johnson.

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