Thursday, May 03, 2007

Latest H-S and N&O circulation numbers

Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for the six-month period ending Mar. 31, 2007 are out. They show a 2.1% drop in circulation at the national level compared to the six-month period ending Mar. 31, 2006.

How about the two daily newspapers which circulate in the Duke/Durham area where the Duke Hoax, first called “the Duke lacrosse rape scandal,” has played out for the last thirteen months? How’d they do? (pdf table)

The Durham Herald Sun’s circulation dropped 17.1% (Sunday) and 17.6%(M-F).

The Raleigh News & Observer’s circulation dropped 0.4% (Sunday) and 0.5% (M-F).

The H-S reported an average Sunday circulation for the period of 37, 000 (rounded to nearest thousand); the N&O reported 213, 000.

I’ll say more about the H-S and N&O’s latest circulation figures in a day or so.

Meanwhile, here’s a Nov. 7, 2006 post, “The Herald Sun’s ABCs,” that begins:

Bob Ashley became editor of the Durham Herald Sun in late 2004. During the next 15 months, the paper’s circulation declined about 20%.
The post provides some background on the H-S and takes a look at its Hoax coverage up through the November, 2006 DA election, by which time the H-S, IMO, was campaigning for Nifong in its news columns and on its editorial page.

You should know that the H-S, in keeping with a practice in place for decades before the Paxton Company bought the paper and installed Ashley as “guy in charge,” does not formally endorse candidates for office.

However, there are ways to get around that and the H-S, IMO, did on its editorial page. It wasn’t for nothing that Nifong supporters here in Durham kept saying in Sept. and Oct.: “Did you take a look at that editorial in the H-S?”


Anonymous said...

John - too funny when you wrote " being in the center of one of the biggest news stories for thirteen months and they lost circulation " = parphrasing of course. If you get a chance, please share with us your thoughts on decling newspaper circulations. I went from buying three papers a day to none in the last two years. Now I use the 10,000 newspapers site and read there.

Anonymous said...

More karma.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone contacted Paxton Media officials in Paducah, Ky.? Do the people who run the company know what has happened to Ashley's Herald-Sun? What an amazing story.

09parent said...

The Editorials in the Durham Sun are often as rank as the Letters they feature. Devoid of reason. The editor is a Duke graduate? (what is up with his disconnect with things like due process, exculpatory evidence and race-baiting and his bewildering support of openly craven and incompetent Durham police and DAs?) Ashley appears to be clueless that America is watching and that America is stunned by his collaboration with those he was charged with scrutinizing. The Durham Sun is a ship without a crew lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Well, News Break: Herald Sun printing presses have been identified as the very spot where all ships sink and souls are lost in the NC Triangle.

Bob Wilson said...

JiC is right. Ashley didn't -- more likely, wouldn't -- see one of the greatest stories in American legal history unfolding in Durham. The result is an inexcusable failure, but not a surprising one considering who owns the H-S now and who captains it.

What we see in the H-S's miserable performance is, apparently, what Paxton Media Group regards as acceptable. But I cannot imagine any other media chain that would keep a management team so proficient at driving circulation down.

People inside and outside the H-S dismiss the paper as an embarrassing joke on Durham. The last thing a city with dysfunctional politics needs is a dysfunctional newspaper.