Hot List: Newspapers

'The New York Times' and 'Star Tribune' shine brightest

National Newspaper

The New York Times

Not long ago, some predicted The New York Times’ imminent demise. It proved the skeptics wrong. The Times repaid its debt to Carlos Slim Helú three years early; stabilized print circulation declines; and, after years of planning, launched a digital subscription strategy. Early signs of the paywall are good: six months in, the Times had collected 324,000 paying digital subs, helping bump Sunday home delivery circ for the first time in five years, by 0.2 percent to 992,383. Its online traffic in general blows competitors away, plus its news instincts remain strong—witness its lead reporting on WikiLeaks’ military documents.

Regional Newspaper

Star Tribune

Who says regional newspapers can’t be saved? The Star Tribune in Minneapolis was wracked by bankruptcy and deep staff cuts when publisher (and Time Inc. vet) Michael Klingensmith invested in local reporting, features, and color pages, and it’s paying off in year-over-year print circulation growth, up 2.7 percent Sunday to 518,095, and 0.2 percent daily to 298,147. Also, introduced a paywall Nov. 1 and signed up 34,000 digital subs in the first 28 days, including 6,400 paying digital-only subscribers.

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