FAS-FAX: More Steep Circ Losses

The Audit Bureau of Circulations released this morning the spring figures for the six months ending March 31, 2009, showing that the largest metros continue to shed daily and Sunday circulation–now at a record rate.

According to ABC, for 395 newspapers reporting this spring, daily circulation fell 7 percent to 34,439,713 copies, compared with the same March period in 2008. On Sunday, for 557 newspapers, circulation was down 5.3 percent to 42,082,707. These averages do not include 84 newspapers with circulations below 50,000 due to a change in publishing frequency.

The percent comparisons are for the same period ending in March 2008. (All daily averages are for Monday through Friday.)

Daily circulation at The New York Times dropped 3.5 percent to 1,039,031. The Times’ Sunday circ was down 1.7 percent to 1,451,233.

The Washington Post lost 1.6 percent of its daily circ to 665,383 and 2.3 percent to 868,965.

USA Today, as reported earlier this month, lost 7.4 percent of its daily circulation to 2,113,725 due to a decline in hotel copies.

Daily circulation at The Wall Street Journal was up a fraction 0.6 percent to 2,082,189, but this was certainly the exception, not the rule.

Daily circulation at The Boston Globe skidded 13.6 percent to 302,638 copies. Sunday decreased 11.2 percent to 466,665.

New York’s Daily News was off 14 percent, but rival New York Post lost even more, at minus 20 percent. The Star-Ledger of Newark shed over 16 percent. Newsday, by comparison, lost 3 percent.


Daily circulation at The Miami Herald fell 15.8 percent to 202,122. Sunday is down 13.1 percent to 270,166.

San Francisco Chronicle shed 15.7 percent of daily copies to 312,118. Sunday fell 16.5 percent to 312,118.

Tribune Co. papers rolled out highly touted redesigns in this period, but lost readers. The Chicago Tribune lost 7.4 percent of its daily circulation to 501,202 and 4.5 percent on Sunday to 858,256 copies. Circulation plunged at the Los Angeles Times at 6.5 percent of its daily circulation (Monday through Friday) to 723,181 copies. Sunday was down 7.4 percent to 1,019,388.

The Philadelphia Inquirer lost 13.7 percent of its daily circulation to 288,298. Sunday was hit just as hard, down 12 percent to 550,400. Daily circulation at its sister publication the Daily News fell 7.6 percent to 99,103. (At the end of March the Inquirer started distributing the Daily News within its pages. The change does not affect the circulation for this period.)

Daily circulation at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution plummeted almost 20 percent to 261,828. Sunday decreased 7 percent to 462,011.

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Chicago Sun-Times took very slim losses–a victory of sorts.

The Houston Chronicle was down almost 14 percent of daily circulation to 425,138. Sunday fell 7.8 percent to 583,364 copies.

The Arizona Republic in Phoenix was down 5.7 percent in daily circulation to 389,701 while the paper gained 0.2 percent on Sunday with a total of 516,562 copies.

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland lost 11.7 percent of its average daily circulation to 291,630. Sunday was down 8.15 to 393,352.