According to a new report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, for the six months ended March 31, 2009, the largest daily newspapers are losing subscribers at a record pace, with circulation down 7%
compared with the same period in March 2008. For Sunday newspapers, circulation was down 5.3%.
In addition to sinking circulation, newspaper ad revenue is plunging. McClatchy ad revenue plummeted
29.5% in Q1 2009 compared to the same quarter last year, while The New York Times Co. saw ad revenue plunge 27%. Zenith Optimedia predicts that ad spending for newspapers will sink 12% in 2009.
During this 6 month period ending Mar. 31, 2009:
- Circulation at the New York Times slipped 3.5% during the week and 1.7% on Sundays
- The Washington Post fell 1.6%
daily and 2.3% on Sundays
- USA Today fell 7.4% during the week on a decline in copies ordered from hotels The Chicago Tribune fell 7.4% daily and 4.5% on Sunday
- The Los
Angeles Times slipped 6.5% and 7.5%
- The Boston Globe plunged 13.6% during the week and 11.2% on Sundays
- The New York Daily News was down 14% during the week
York Post, down 20%
- The Miami Herald (-15.8%)
- The San Francisco Chronicle (-15.7%)
- The Philadelphia Inquirer (-13.7%)
- The Houston Chronicle
And, from the Newspaper and Audience FAS-FAX for March 2009:
Newspapers with less than 50,000 total average paid circulation are no longer required to report circulation
for each day of the week. Previously, these newspapers would have reported circulation for Monday through Sunday plus a Monday-Friday combined average. In most cases, these newspapers will now only
report a six-day Monday-Saturday average and a Sunday average.
Comparable year-over-year weekday average data will not be available for these newspapers until March 2010, and direct comparison
of 2009 to 2008 averages for these individual newspapers is not advised, says the ABC.
A roundup of how developments at certain U.S. newspapers may be reflected in the March 2009 FAS-FAX
- The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post will report separate data through Feb. 27, 2009. After that date, the Denver Post will report data that reflects its
absorption of the Rocky Mountain News' subscriber file and will not have comparable year-over-year data
- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times will report separate data
through March 17, 2009. After that date, the Seattle Times will report data that reflects its absorption of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's subscriber file and will not have comparable
- On March 27, 2009, the Christian Science Monitor published its last print edition as a newspaper. It is now publishing online only on weekdays and producing
a weekend magazine supplement. Beginning with the June 2009-ending period it will report as a consumer magazine
- The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press implemented a new distribution
model that ended print home-delivery on Mondays, Tuesdays Wednesdays and Saturdays. Subscribers can receive an electronic edition instead or pick up a newsstand copy of the
- The Philadelphia Daily News became a print edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer
To learn more and to access the PDF
report, please visit the Audit Bureau of Circulations here.