The St. Petersburg Times was one of the few newspapers in the country to eke out a gain in Sunday circulation over the past six months, but lost circulation daily along with most of the rest of the industry.
As readers have gravitated to the Internet, the audience for newspapers' print editions has declined. A report Monday from the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that trend is continuing.
While USA Today and the Wall Street Journal registered small gains, most papers posted losses, including circulation losses of more than 10 percent at the Miami Herald, Lakeland Ledger and Dallas Morning News.
The St. Petersburg Times remains Florida's largest newspaper with an average circulation of 316,007 daily, a 2.1 percent decline from a year ago, and 432,779 Sunday, a 0.44 percent increase.
Those numbers make it the 20th largest newspaper in the nation daily and the 19th largest Sunday. In the past year, the Times passed the Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and New York Post in Sunday circulation.
"Our results contradict the conventional wisdom that newspaper publishing is a dwindling business," said Paul Tash, Times editor and chairman. "We remain optimistic about growth prospects for the Tampa Bay area and for the St. Petersburg Times, and we are trying to make the most of them."
Florida's second-largest newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, gained 0.33 percent daily, making it the only other major Florida newspaper to record a gain daily or Sunday. The Tampa Tribune's circulation fell 2.85 percent daily and 4.99 percent Sunday.