Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CO and N&O Print Circulations Decline; Web #s Rise

Today the McClatchy Company’s Charlotte Observer reports:

Circulation numbers continued to tumble at Carolinas newspapers, according to industry statistics released Monday, but publishers continued to see gains in their online operations.

In preliminary figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations for the six months ending March 31, Charlotte Observer circulation fell 11 percent weekdays to 187,633 – its lowest daily number since 1986 – and was down 7 percent Sundays to 244,494. …

Nationally, daily newspaper circulation fell 7 percent year to year and Sunday circulation was down 5 percent, according to the audit bureau. A year ago, the industry reported a 4 percent decline in daily sales and a 5 percent drop on Sundays.
The Raleigh News & Observer has not published it’s latest ABC numbers, but at the CO story’s sidebar I found a link providing the latest ABC print circulation numbers for other Carolina papers.

Here they are for the ol’ Reliable:
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Daily 156,909 -11%
Sunday 205,298 -3%
The CO story includes this:
But at the same time, the combined print/online index – which reflects the growing traffic to the newspaper's Web site – was up 8 percent year to year to 1.07 million. The index measures the combined audience of the newspaper over a seven-day period and the past 30 days of unique visitors to charlotteobserver.com. Charlotte ranked eighth highest in growth in the nation in the combined index. …

In Monday's circulation report, Raleigh showed a 4 percent increase in the print/online index, making it No. 24 in growth nationally, according to the audit bureau. No other Carolina newspapers ranked in the top 25.
The CO spins readers with this:
“We're gaining readership,” said Observer publisher Ann Caulkins. “We know people who don't read us in print are reading us online. We have more readership than we've ever had in the history of the Charlotte Observer.”
Maybe Caulkins thinks she doesn’t need to remind readers most newspaper revenue comes from advertisers who in large part base what they’re willing to pay on print circulation size.

I don’t doubt when the N&O reports its ABC numbers, it will provide a spin similar to Caulkins'.

That's what its been doing for the almost 15 years McClatchy has owned the paper and its circulation's flat-lined while population in its circulation area has grown by over 300, 000.

The entire CO story's here.


Anonymous said...

JinC - Off topic but of importance - Fox is announcing that Arlen Spector is switching parties and will run as a Democrat next year. My prediction - he will lose his seat because now the Republicans do not have to endure a bruising primary fight, Toomey should have a clear shot for the Republican nod and the voters of the Keystone state will not look kindly on the Spector flip.