Newspaper Circulation Still Declining

From Editor & Publisher:

Circulation at many of the country’s largest newspapers continued a steep slide as the Audit Bureau of Circulations Monday morning released the latest figures for the six months ending September 2009 — proving yet again that the industry can’t shake the dramatic declines that have taken hold over the past several years.

On a comparable basis, ABC reported that for the 379 newspapers filing with the organization, average daily circulation plunged 10.6% to 30,395,652 — one of the most severe drops in overall circulation. Sunday circulation for 562 reporting newspapers was down 7.4% to 40,012,253.

Here are the top twenty-five newspaper’s numbers, also from E&P:

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — 2,024,269 — 0.61%
USA TODAY — 1,900,116 — (-17.15%)
THE NEW YORK TIMES — 927,851 — (-7.28%)
LOS ANGELES TIMES — 657,467 — (-11.05%)
THE WASHINGTON POST — 582,844 — (-6.40%)

DAILY NEWS (NEW YORK) — 544,167 — (-13.98%)
NEW YORK POST — 508,042 — (-18.77%)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE — 465,892 — (-9.72%)
HOUSTON CHRONICLE — 384,419 — (-14.24%)
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER — 361,480 — N/A

NEWSDAY — 357,124 — (-5.40%)
THE DENVER POST — 340,949 — N/A
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC — 316,874 — (-12.30%)
STAR TRIBUNE, MINNEAPOLIS — 304,543 — (-5.53%)
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES — 275,641 — (-11.98%)

The PLAIN DEALER, CLEVELAND — 271,180 — (-11.24%)
DETROIT FREE PRESS (e) — 269,729 — (-9.56%)
THE BOSTON GLOBE — 264,105 — (-18.48%)
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS — 263,810 — (-22.16%)
THE SEATTLE TIMES — 263,588 — N/A

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE — 251,782 — (-25.82%)
THE OREGONIAN — 249,163 — (-12.06%)
THE STAR-LEDGER, NEWARK — 246,006 — (-22.22%)
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE — 242,705 — (-10.05%)
ST. PETERSBURG (FLA.) TIMES — 240,147 — (-10.70%)

An analysis from Reflections of a Newsosaur:

Following an average drop of 10.6% in the last six months, daily newspaper circulation has fallen to a pre-World War II low of an estimated 39.1 million, according to an analysis of industry data released today.

The first double-digit circulation decline in history means only 12.9% of the U.S. population buys a daily newspaper. The analysis is based on data provided by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, an industry-funded group.

Newspaper circulation now is lower than the 41.1 million papers sold in 1940, the earliest date for which records are published by the Newspaper Association of America. Back in 1940, newspapers were purchased by 31.1% of the population.

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