Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NAA, ABC Report Newspaper Circ Slide

NAA, ABC Report Newspaper Circ Slide
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
By Chandra Johnson-Greene

According to the Newspaper Association of America’s Fas-Fax analysis of circ data for the six-month period ending March 31, the average daily circ for the 745 newspapers reporting for comparable periods was 44.9 million, a decrease of 2.1 percent over the same period a year ago.

On Sunday, the average circ for the 601 newspapers reporting was 48.1 million, a decrease of 3.1 percent over the same period a year ago.

The New York Times lost daily circ and is down 1.9 percent to 1.1 million, while its Sunday edition fell 3.3 percent to 1.6 million. Both USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, both reported small increases, with +0.2 percent (2.2 million) for the former and +0.6 percent (2 million) for the latter.

“The latest ABC circulation figures are in range with what we expected,” stated NAA president/CEO John F. Sturm.

Sturm says the losses are due to publishers moving away from “short-term circulation sales programs toward longer-term marketing initiatives that deliver the most value and make economic sense.”

Sturn’s statement is confirmed by the NAA’s 2007 “Circulation Facts, Figures & Logic” study of newspaper and circ marketing practices, which was released in conjunction with the Fas-Fax analysis.

The study found that newspapers are retaining subscribers in greater numbers, with subscriber churn down to 36.5 percent in 2006, compared with 42.1 percent in 2004 and 54.5 in 2000.

The only newspapers that seem to be immune to the current circ trends are the New York tabloids.

Weekday circ for the New York Post rose 7.6 percent for the six months ending March 31 while the Daily News saw a 1.4 percent gain, according to ABC.

The Post’s Sunday paper rose 6.2 percent to 439,202 while the News still leads Sunday circ despite a 2.8 percent decline.

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