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US Newspaper Sales: the Situation Worsens

News, 01 November 2006


NEW YORK: America's daily newspapers lost 2.8% of their combined circulations in the six months to September 30, according to the latest data issued by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Sunday newspapers fared even worse in the same period, registering a decline of 3.4%.

Even market leader USA Today, published by the Gannett Company of Maclean, Virginia, saw its average paid circulation trimmed year-on-year by 1.3% to 2,269,509.

Dow Jones' Wall Street Journal held onto its runner-up position with an average paid circulation of 2,043,235, down 1.9% - but still a remarkable figure for a business and finance-oriented newspaper.

Lagging the leaders by a considerable margin in number three position is The New York Times, down 3.5% to 1,086,798.

And as if to prove H L Mencken's maxim that "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public", the only newspapers in the top twenty to gain sales were both raucous tabloids - NewsCorp's The New York Post (+5.1% to 704,011) and the New York Daily News (+1% to 693,382).

This is the full Top Twenty List . . .

  1. USA Today 2,269,509 (-1.3%)

  2. The Wall Street Journal 2,043,235 (-1.9%)

  3. The New York Times 1,086,798 (-3.5%)

  4. Los Angeles Times 775,766 (- 8%)

  5. New York Post 704,011 (+5.1%)

  6. New York Daily News 693,382 (+1%)

  7. The Washington Post 656,297 (-3.3%)

  8. Chicago Tribune 576,132 (-1.7%)

  9. Houston Chronicle 508,097 (-3.7%)

  10. Newsday 410,579 (-5%)

  11. The Arizona Republic 97,294 (-2.6%)

  12. The Boston Globe 386,415 (-6.7%)

  13. The Star-Ledger 378,100 (-5.5%)

  14. San Francisco Chronicle 373,805 (-5.4%)

  15. Star Tribune 358,887 (-4.2%)

  16. Atlanta Journal-Constitution 350,157 (-3.5%)

  17. The Plain Dealer 336,939 (-0.6%)

  18. The Philadelphia Inquirer 330,622 (-7.6%)

  19. Detroit Free Press 328,628 (- 3.6%)

  20. The Oregonian 310,803 (-6.8%)
The list was compiled by the Newspaper Association of America based on data supplied by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Data sourced from USA Today Online; additional content by WARC staff