WSJ Looks To Claim Title Of Number One Paper In Circulation

journal logo 2.pngThe Wall Street Journal today released its latest circulation numbers, revealing that its circulation revenue has grown more than 10 percent year over year.

According to numbers reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Journal said that its circulation is 2.024 million as of September 2009, compared to 2.012 last year. Individual paid circulation is up .78 percent, to 1.4 million. (The ABC’s official numbers will be released at the end of the month.)

The Journal, which has long been the number two newspaper in the U.S. based on circulation, made its announcement just a few days after Editor & Publisher revealed that USA TODAY, the nation’s largest circ paper, will show a 17 percent decline in circulation when the ABC numbers come out on October 26. E&P said that USA TODAY‘s circ will drop from its March 2009 numbers of 2.1 million to about 1.88 million, meaning the Journal will take its place in the number one slot.

What does this shift in the largest circulation newspaper in the country mean?

It has been a difficult year for USA TODAY, whose publisher David Hunke told us earlier this year that the third and fourth quarters were going to be “tough.” The national paper has long focused on the idea of travel and businessmen and women who travel for work and expect a paper outside their hotel room in the morning. As corporations have cut back on travel and the hospitality industry has suffered, so too has USA TODAY suffered.

On the other hand, the Journal has invested in its news production in recent months and expanded under the guidance of Rupert Murdoch to become more of a broad-reaching publication. Boasted the Journal: “Some of the recent investments across the Journal‘s print and digital properties that provide readers and advertisers with greater value include: an expanded news hole, expanded coverage of U.S., political and international news, additional editorial pages, additional global editions, launch of the ‘News Hub,’ the twice-daily newscast broadcast live across The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and new products, such as the WSJ Mobile Reader application for the Blackberry and iPhone, WSJ., the Journal‘s glossy magazine and a redesigned”

The Journal‘s expertise covering the finance industry has also boosted its importance during the economic crisis.

“The Journal maintains its leading position among key demographics, according to the 2009 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey,” the company said today. “Among all print publications, the Journal is the top title in reaching adults with a personal income of $150,000+ and it remains number one in reaching top managers in large corporations. With an average household income of $290,000 and an average net worth of $1.8 million, Journal readers are among the most affluent audience segments represented in this survey. The Journal also reaches 12 percent of C-suite executives, remaining number one among its competitive set.”

Seems like USA TODAY‘s loss is the Journal‘s gain as the paper claims its number one spot.

Update: Politico reports that WSJ includes paid online subscriptions in its total numbers, which may mean that USA TODAY will retain its number one spot in terms of print circulation.