AHC and NYT lost most circ
While industry-wide daily circulation dropped an average of 3.5% and Sunday sales fell an average of 4.2%, daily circulation slid 8.3% at A.H. Belo and Sunday circulation plunged 7.8% at the New York Times Co. Particularly eye-popping was the 9.3% swoon in Sunday sales of the New York Times (maybe more articles about elegant, clothing-optional spas will help).
Analyst Paul Ginocchio reports that not one of the 10 publishing companies had an over-all increase in circulation. Even the best-performing publisher – News Corp. – lost 0.9% in daily circ and 1.2% on Sunday.
The big-name papers showing double-digit declines were the Dallas Morning News, off 10.4% daily and 7.6% on Sunday; the Rocky Mountain News, off 10.9% daily and 14.4% on Sunday, and the Miami Herald, off 11.4% daily and 9.1% on Sunday.
A larger-than-average circulation drop in one reporting period does not necessarily indicate an individual newspaper or company is any more trouble than the industry as a whole. Rather, it may reflect a company's desire to rein in distant circulation to create a tighter (and more economical) distribution footprint. Or, it could result from a decision to reduce or eliminate the sale of deeply discounted promotional copies.
Nevertheless, growth is better than contraction. Apart from the 0.3% gains at both USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, there are no other positive numbers on the table below. You can click on the image to enlarge it, but the results won't look any better.