Monday, May 05, 2008

Winners and Losers in the Newspaper Game

Timber! Newspaper Circulation Falls Again - I love statistics. They don't often tell you the whole story, and complicated statistics can be manipulated. But a simple set of statistics often tells a clear story. (I know this is a week old, but this got drowned out in all the Rev. Wright stuff last week.)

Big, national and regional newspapers that are liberal, are in trouble. Smaller regional papers that are not so liberal - some of them anyway - are in less trouble.

My three least favorite papers - the NY Times, the LA Times, and the Boston Globe - are big losers in the current circulation numbers. This is part of an industry-wide decline in numbers. Overall, daily circulation is down, 3.57% and Sunday circulation is down 4.59%. That can't be good when costs for paper and transportation are increasing.

Here is a look at some of the numbers.

NewspaperChange in Daily CirculationChange in Sunday Circulation
 New York Times -3.85% -9.3%
 Los Angeles Times -5.1% -6.1%
 Philadelphia Inquirer -5.1% -6.3%
 Boston Globe -8.5% not reported
 Wall Street Journal +0.35% not applicable
 USA Today +0.27% not applicable
 San Jose Mercury News +1.7% not reported
 Cincinnati Enquirer +2.9% not reported

No data on the Washington Post.

One of my local papers, the St. Petersburg Times (which is slightly to left of Chairman Mao) is also down, though not as much. The SP Times is completely liberal. (They never met a tax they didn't like, or so it seems to me.) The Cincinnati Enquirer isn't exactly conservative, but they can't be too far out in left-field given what greater Cincinnati is like. (It is a VERY conservative city.) Although I haven't read it in years, I always liked the San Jose Mercury News, they had great business coverage of Silicon Valley and the high tech industry when most papers didn't seem to understand technology.

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