PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

News

Newspaper circulation declines 7% in last six months

David B. Wilkerson
MarketWatch (MCT)

The average daily circulation of U.S. newspapers declined 7 percent in the six-month period ending March 31, according to the latest data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, reflecting an increased rate of decline over the last two measured periods.

The data indicate that in the midst of a shift in consumer behavior that has led more people to get their news and information online, a depressed economy has induced still more readers to cancel their newspaper subscriptions.

Among 395 daily U.S. newspapers, the average circulation totaled 34.4 million, compared with a total of 37.1 million in the March 2008 reporting period, according to preliminary figures, the ABC said.

In the six months ended Sept. 30, daily circulation was down 4.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. In the March 2008 period, daily circulation fell 3.6 percent.

With 557 U.S. newspapers reporting their Sunday numbers, average circulation fell 5.4 percent in the March 2009 period, to 42.1 million.

USA Today, owned by Gannett Co., maintained its long-held title as the No. 1 daily newspaper in America, with a total paid circulation of 2.11 million, though that figure represents a decline of 7.5 percent from the same six-month period a year earlier.

The Wall Street Journal, acquired in 2007 by News Corp., was second in daily circulation at 2.08 million, presenting a 0.6 percent improvement over the year-earlier period. News Corp. also owns MarketWatch, the publisher of this report.

The New York Times was third at 1.04 million, down 3.6 percent; Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times came in fourth at 723,181, a decline of 6.6 percent; and the Washington Post was the fifth-largest daily at 665,383.

Also in the top 10 were the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle and the Arizona Republic.

The most spectacular year-over-year declines in daily circulation were seen at the New York Post, down 21 percent; the Atlanta Journal Constitution, down 20 percent; the Newark Star-Ledger, off 17 percent; the San Francisco Chronicle, down nearly 16 percent; and the Boston Globe, where circulation dropped 14 percent.

Hearst Corp. has threatened to shut down the San Francisco Chronicle unless it can make drastic cost cuts, and Boston Globe parent New York Times Co. has reportedly warned that paper's unions that it could close unless major concessions are made.

On Sundays, the New York Times held on to its top spot, with paid circulation of 1.45 million, representing a 1.7 percent decline from its Sunday total a year earlier. The Los Angeles Times was second at 1.02 million, a drop-off of 7.5 percent; The Washington Post took third with almost 869,000 paid subscriptions, down 2.4 percent; the Chicago Tribune was fourth at just over 858,000, down 4.2 percent; and the New York Daily News was fifth, with just under 645,000, an 8.4 percent decline from the March period in 2008.

The last six months have been nightmarish for the newspaper industry.

In March, Hearst Corp. opted to shut down print operations of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, turning it into a Web-only publication with a small editorial staff.

Also in February, E.W. Scripps & Co. shut down Denver's Rocky Mountain News, while Philadelphia Newspapers LLC and Journal Register Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Last December, Tribune Co., publisher of the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and other major dailies, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The parent of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune followed suit a month later.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Is Carl Neville's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.

Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Music

Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".

Music

John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.

Music

The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.

Music

Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.

Music

In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.

Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.