‘Wash Post’: While Large Dailies Struggle, Smaller Newspapers Prosper

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By: E&P Staff

In Thursday’s edition of the Washington Post, columnist Frank Ahrens looks at how smaller newspapers are weathering the Web-affected industry-wide decline much better than larger metro dailies. Ahrens notes that smaller papers have less competition for local news online, their advertising bases are not very affected by online competition, and their overhead remains low, with relatively-low-paid-but-hard-working staffers.

“The combined circulation of all U.S. newspapers in the six months ended Sept. 30 was down 2.8 percent from the comparable period in 2005, according to the Newspaper Association of America. By comparison, the combined circulation in the small-newspaper group was down 2.1 percent,” notes Ahrens.

“If that seems like cold comfort at best, consider this: Of the 413 papers in the small-newspaper group, 105 of them — 25 percent — gained circulation over the year, faring better than any other circulation group.”

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