NAA Analysis of ABC Confirms Overall Circ Slide

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By: Jennifer Saba

The Newspaper Association of America reported that overall daily circulation for the spring period declined 2.1% to 44,961,066 and Sunday decreased 3.1% to 48,102,437.

The association analyzed average daily circulation for the 745 daily newspapers and 601 Sunday papers reporting to the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ FAS-FAX for the six-month period ending March 2007.

John Sturm, president and CEO of the NAA, said in a statement this morning that the latest figures are “in range with what we expected.” He attributed the losses to publishers moving away from “short-term circulation sales programs toward longer-term marketing initiatives that deliver the most value and make economic sense.”

This time, the NAA emphasized that while newspapers are losing readers the ones they have, they are keeping longer. Subscriber retention is going up while churn is going down. The organization said that in 2006 subscriber churn was at 36.5% compared to 42.1% in 2004 and 54.5% in 2000.

“While we all know that traditionally circulation has focused on delivering net-paid circulation of the core product, the role of circulation departments today is to deliver responsive audiences through marketing and delivery of products across multimedia platforms,” Sturm said.

For the past couple of years, there has been a push by publishers to focus on total audience data, which takes into, account Web site visitors and the readership of other products. The NAA launched NADbase in the fall of 2005, which tracks the readership of print and online of about 100 newspapers. ABC said it is in the beginning stages of approving a combined audience figure to be used on the semi-annual reports detailing paid circulation.

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Related E&P Stories:

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

ABC Reveals Big Drops in Circ in Spring 2007

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