'Wall Street Journal' Reports Uptick in Circulation, Gains No. 1 Slot

By: Jennifer Saba The Wall Street Journal announced its daily circulation rose modestly for the six months ending September 2009, a year-over-year increase of 0.6% to 2,024,269 copies. With the steep losses at USA Today this year, the Journal is now the top-circulating U.S. daily.

Individually paid circulation for the period advanced slightly, up 0.8% to 1,437,853 copies.

Additionally, the paper said circulation revenue is up 10.1%.

In the release the Journal revealed that since the Marriott hotel chain switched its newspaper hotel copy program to a custom-preference system, Marriott hotel sale copies jumped 20%.

Marriott announced in April it would stop automatically delivering copies of USA Today to rooms and instead implement a program where guests can request the newspaper of their choice: USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, the local daily or no paper at all.

"We hope the Marriott program will encourage more hotels to give their customers a choice when it comes to their newspaper preference," Paul Bascobert, chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

Some ABC rule changes are taking effect his period that could likely help the Wall Street Journal's circulation going forward. ABC is now counting copies of 1 cent or more as paid circulation essentially doing away with the breakout of discounted circulation.

Under the old rules The Wall Street Journal was able to count subscriptions to WSJ.com. In Journal's last publisher's statement dated March 2009, the Journal claimed 383,199 of its online subscriptions -- way less than the 1 million or so of actual WSJ.com subscribers. The reason for the gap is that newspapers could only count bundled subscriptions if the offer includes 100% payment for one subscription -- the more expensive one -- and at least 25% for the other one.

Under new ABC rules where discounted circulation is no longer an issue, the Journal will likely be able to include more of its subscriptions to WSJ.com. Read more about it here.


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