For traditional newspaper, leaner readers
This is the day newspapers fess up with their latest circulation numbers. It's kind of like watching an industry version of that reality show, "The Biggest Loser." Except the papers with the greatest declines in readers really are on a perilous slope as advertisers get increasingly picky about where to spend their marketing dollars.
Of the 25 largest newspapers in the country the two largest in daily circulation -- USA Today and the Wall Street Journal -- posted minute but positive gains, 0.01 percent, in paid daily circulation for the six months ending Sept. 30, compared to the earlier six-month period. Taking the biggest hits were the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, down 13.6 percent, and Houston Chronicle, off 11.7 percent. In Sunday circulation, the day of greatest newspaper readers, only two of the top 25 papers (the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Petersburg Times) reported slightly positive gains in circulation. All others declined.
In Florida, the vast bulk of major newspapers lost both daily and Sunday circulation in the past six months. Here's quick rundown of the top seven metro papers:
Newspaper Daily circulation change Sunday circulation change
St. Petersburg Times 268,935 - 6.9% 390,289 +0.09%
Miami Herald 210,884 -11.8% 279,484 -9.0%
Orlando Sentinel 206,363 -3.3% 307,976 -3.3%
Tampa Tribune 187,582 -2.4% 258,089 -1.5%
Sun-Sentinel 183,562 -9.3% 269,256 -5.7%
Palm Beach Post 134,350 -7.5% 164,364 -6.8%
J'ville Times-Union 127,661 -12.7% 181,155 -11.9%
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations, unaudited estimates.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist