Doing a bit of competitive boasting, Parade noted that 53 of the 71 new newspaper partners had switched from USA Weekend, another leading newspaper-distributed magazine. Owned by Conde Nast, Parade added newspaper partners including the Connecticut Post, based in Bridgeport; the Journal Star of Lincoln, Nebraska; Iowa's Sioux City Journal; North Dakota's Bismarck Tribune; and the Napa Valley Register.
The scarcity of big-city papers in the list of new partners isn't a drawback--quite the opposite. Unlike most big metro and regional dailies, which have seen circulation and ad revenue plummet over the last couple of years, newspapers serving towns and smaller cities are faring surprisingly well in both arenas.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, comparing October 2006 to March 2007 to the same six-month period a year earlier, the total Sunday circulation of newspapers with circulations less than 20,000 was down a modest 2.7%, compared to 4.6% for newspapers overall--and an average decline of 7% at 12 leading metro dailies, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe.
The reason, in part, is because the most popular content areas for big city papers--including national sports and business news--have been increasingly commoditized, leaving them vulnerable to competition from online news aggregators. Papers serving smaller communities often have a monopoly on their local news.