US Newspapers Continue to Struggle

29 October 2008

NEW YORK: Average daily newspaper circulation in the US fell by 4.6% in the six months to September, following a 3.6% decline for the half-year ending in March, reports trade measurement body the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The total average circulation of the 507 daily titles assessed by ABC fell from 40.02m in March to September 2007 to 38.17m over the same six-month period in 2008. 

USA Today, the biggest daily newspaper by sales, posted an average increase of just 173 copies a day, and remains more than 280,000 copies ahead of number two, The Wall Street Journal, which was up by 117 copies per day.

The New York Times, by contrast, posted a 3.6% decline in circulation, with the Los Angeles Times down by 5.2%, and the Washington Post by 1.9%. 

Sunday titles were also down by 4.8% to a cumulative average of 43.63m year-on-year, with the 571 titles measured also posting a 4.6% reverse from September 2007 to March 2008.

According to ABC's figures, The New York Times is the top-selling Sunday title, but was down 4.1% year-on-year, with the Los Angeles Times down 5.1%, and the Washington Post by 3.2%

The Newspaper Association of America has recently reported that newspaper website usage rose by 16% year-on-year in Q3, totalling some 68m individual monthly users in all.

Data sourced from USA Today; additional content by WARC staff