Newspapers continue to lose readers


The latest stats from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) shows newspaper circulation in the US down 4.6% from a year ago. Even so, there are a few newspapers actually increasing circulation. Those, however, are not big-name dailies whose names you will recognize – at least not unless they are your local paper.

The Wisconsin State Journal of Madison saw its circulation rise 10.6% from a year ago to 97,012. Also posting gains of 5% or more were The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens, MI, The Daily Sun of The Villages, FL (a fast-growing retirement community), The Times of Trenton, NJ and the Citizen Tribune of Morristown, TN.

But the story for most newspapers was quite the opposite. For the 507 dailies who report to the ABC, average weekday circulation for the six month period through September fell 4.6% from a year ago. #1 USA today posted a modest gain, though, gaining 173 subscribers from a year ago to its total of nearly 2.3 million. #2 The Wall Street Journal gained 117 average copies sold to its total of just over two million. For other big papers in the top 25 for circulation, declines ranged from 1.9% at the Washington Post to 13.6% for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The latter had dramatically reduced the number of counties where it offers newspaper delivery as a cost-savings move.

In raw numbers, the total circulation of US daily newspapers fell from just over 40 million a year ago to 38.2 million.