Newspapers (Apparently) Look Better From the Front

Newspapers (Apparently) Look Better From the Front

According to The Media Audit, the percentage of adults reading the front section of a daily newspaper from 2000 to 2005 increased from 51.4 to 53.0 percent in the 87 metropolitan markets surveyed regularly.

Bob Jordan, president of International Demographics, producer of The Media Audit, said "The same research shows the percentage of adults reading the other 11 sections of a daily newspaper declined." Jordan emphasizes readership, saying that "We measure readership only."

The percentage of adults reading the front section varies from 68.2 percent in the New Haven metropolitan area to 41.8 percent in the Las Vegas market. There are 16 markets where more than 60 percent of adults read a front page section regularly and 19 markets where less than 50 percent read a front page section regularly.

The severest decline in percentage of readers was in the weekend television guide book. Its percentage of readers dropped from 31.9 to 23.1 between 2000 and 2005 because it appears to be the most easily duplicated by other media.

Other section readership changes during this period include:

  • The Movie/Entertainment section readership dropped from 26.5 to 23.1
  • Travel sections dropped from 19.6 to 17.7
  • Lifestyle/Fashion dropped from 23.7 to 21.7.
  • Other sections lost about one percentage point.

Says Jordan, "... Five years without growth is a substantial problem."

The demographic profile of the front page readership shows the group to be better educated and more affluent than the general population.

  • Those earning more than $50,000 in annual household income index at 108 (100 is average of the general population).
  • Those earning more than $75,000 and more than $100,000 have indexes of 113 and 117.
  • Those with liquid assets of $100,000 or more, $250,000 or more, index at 126 and 135.
  • Those who traded stocks/bonds/securities during the past year index at 125.
  • More than 74 percent of the front page reader group says they voted during the past year in a local, state or national election.

Visit The Media Audit here for more information.

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