New FAS-FAX: Hope Springs Eternal?

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By: Jennifer Saba

Anyone thinking that newspapers would finally eke out some circulation gains this spring might as well light a candle for the fall numbers. As E&P goes to press, the spring FAS-FAX has not been released. However, sources said the overall numbers for papers reporting to the Audit Bureau of Circulations are in line with past plunges. It’s expected that daily will fall approximately 2.6% and Sunday will decline around 3.0%, despite kind comparisons.

The reasons for this are many: Publishers are still weeding out other-paid circ. Single copy, though a small part of overall circ (making up about 20%), continues to drop. Home-delivered copies, on which publishers have focused with renewed attention, experienced a minor dip as people continue to look elsewhere for news.

On the bright side, The Indianapolis Star benefited greatly this year ? the city played host to the Super Bowl ? and is one metro that made a large gain. Daily circulation is up 2.4% to 261,405 copies and Sunday increased 2.0% to 354,312. Vice President of Circulation Bryan Sturgeon says the paper can thank a frequency switch with its weekend package for the surge: The Star added Thursday editions to Sunday-only subscriptions.

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