While the USA Today story is overwhelmingly positive, it’s also a case study in fuzzy math and the newspaper industry’s measurement system. You see, USA Today doesn’t get bought by 2.3 million people — at least not in the traditional sense of the word “bought.” Instead, they carpet the hallways of America’s hotels, making “The Nation’s Newspaper” more like The Nation’s Doormat.
According to data acquired by this writer from the ABC, 1,174,632 USA Todays are provided to the lodgers of America during the week, compared to 84,918 Wall Street Journals and a relatively modest 43, 209 New York Times. Yes, USA Today works out financial agreements with the hotels and are entirely upfront with advertisers â€¦ but it still casts the numbers in a different light. (And yes, observant readers, that also means that USA Today has a higher hotel circulation than the overall number for the New York Times. There’s your “win a bar bet” fact for the weekend.)