Monday, October 25, 2010

Newspaper Circulation Continues to Drop

Source:  Statistical Abstract of the United States

Link to October 25 New York Times "Media Decoder" blogpost.

Excerpt: Figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations showed that overall weekday circulation at 635 newspapers declined 5 percent from circulation in the same six months last year. The decline last year was at more than twice that rate.

Sunday circulation fell at a slightly slower pace of 4.5 percent, the latest figures showed.

The newspaper reporting the highest weekday circulation was The Wall Street Journal at just over 2 million, though that number includes 450,000 electronic subscriptions. The number of individually paid printed copies the journal distributes each weekday averaged 1.4 million

Additional historical circulation figures/U.S. population
1990:  62,300,000 / 248,710,000
1985:  62,800,000 / 237,924,000
1980:  62,200,000 / 226,456,000
1975:  60,700,000 /
1970:  62,100,000 / 203,302,000

Newspaper circulation was already flat well before the Internet entered our lives.  (Hmm, all of a sudden I want to graph the audience numbers for traditional nightly TV news broadcasts.  My parents favored Walter Cronkite.)

Most instructive statistic:  The number of evening newspapers declined from 36,200,000 in 1970 to 7,700,000 in 2004.

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