New Scarborough Report Shows Newspaper Audience Growing

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By: Jennifer Saba

Scarborough Research unveiled today a new report further highlighting the fact that when a newspaper’s Web site is taken into account, newspaper readership is growing.

The Scarborough Newspaper Audience Ratings report reveals 135 newspapers’ print, Web site, and integrated readership for 74 designated market area (DMA).

It’s not unlike past reports that Scarborough has provided. The twist on this one though is that it gathers all that information in one place. It is free and can be downloaded by clicking here.

Gary Meo, senior vice president of print and Internet services at Scarborough, said his company issued the report after hearing from advertisers and marketers a growing need for more newspaper audience data.

Scarborough is working together with the Newspaper Association of America and the organization’s NADbase (Scarborough provides data for that report) as well as the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ push to integrate more readership information into its semi-annual reports.

The idea of this report, said Meo, is to “elevate the profile of newspaper audience data.”

The Scarborough Newspaper Audience Ratings report differs from the information provided by NADbase. Meo explained that Scarborough Web information is based on the past 7-days while NADbase incorporates monthly Internet usage. Advertisers accept both reporting practices.

“I think the obvious good news story for newspapers,” said Meo, “is that newspaper Web sites are bringing a whole new audience to advertisers.”

The data for Scarborough’s report was collected over 2006. Print readership is measured by adults who have read a paper within the past five weekdays or Sunday within the measured DMA. Web site readership is collected on a past seven-day basis. Integrated audience data takes into account adults who have read the print, online or both editions during the course of a week.

The report revealed that 63% of adults in the Washington D.C. DMA read the print version of The Washington Post. Twenty-one percent of adults visited the Washington Post’s Web site, one of the highest percentages of the markets measured by Scarborough. Taking both products into account the Washington Post reaches 67% of the market.

The Austin American-Statesman tied the Washington Post in terms of reach with its web product, with 21% of adults in the Austin market reading the online version. Sixty-two percent of adults read the print edition. Combined, the Austin American-Statesman reaches 68% of the market.

Print readership in Des Moines, Iowa is off the charts: 71% of adults in that market read the Des Moines Register. It’s Web site reaches 10% of adults and its integrated audience is at 73%.

The Boston Globe’s boston.com fairs well — 17% of adults hit the Web site. The print edition reaches 42% of adults. Its integrated audience is 47%.

Some more data by newspaper/market:

Chicago Tribune
Weekly print audience: 46%
Weekly Web site audience: 9%
Integrated audience: 48%

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Weekly print audience: 57%
Weekly Web site audience: 16%
Integrated audience: 61%

San Antonio Express-News
Weekly print audience: 65%
Weekly Web site audience: 17%
Integrated audience: 68%

The Columbus Dispatch
Weekly print audience: 61%
Weekly Web site audience: 8%
Integrated audience: 62%

The Denver Post
Weekly print audience: 49%
Weekly Web site audience: 7%
Integrated audience: 51%

The Rocky Mountain News
Weekly print audience: 51%
Weekly Web site audience: 5%
Integrated audience: 53%

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