Thursday, October 30, 2008

Going Down

The newspaper industry reported circulation numbers for the six months ended September, and the figures are dressed in red.

Here are the daily circulation numbers for Tribune papers, as reported by the Audit Bureau of Circulation:

Los Angeles Times, down 5.2 percent, to 739,147. LA Observed reported that 75 more staffers got the given pink slip this week at the Times. Sunday circulation fell 5 percent.

Chicago Tribune, down 7.7 percent, to 516,032. Sunday circulation was also down by 6 percent.

Baltimore Sun, down 6 percent, to 218,923. Sunday is off by 4 percent. This is pretty dismal.

Orlando Sentinel, down 3.3 percent, to 206,363. The Sentinel didn’t even report its numbers. It ran an Associated Press story that didn’t include the dismal outlook for a paper whose circulation was once more than 250,000. At this rate, the next time the ABC circulation figures are reported, the Sentinel’s daily circulation may fall below 200,000.

The Sun-Sentinel is already under 200,000. It slid 9 percent to 183,562, as reported by the Miami Herald. The Sun-Sentinel also didn’t report the latest newspaper circulation, according to a search of its online archive.

By the way, the Washington Post and the New York Times are reporting that Tribune’s Washington bureau will undergo a consolidation after the election. Read more pink slips.

Elsewhere in Florida:

St. Pete Times continues to reign supreme in Florida with circulation of 268, 935, but that too was down by 7 percent. It was the only Florida newspaper to run its own bylined story of the circulation decline.

Miami Herald, down nearly 12 percent, to 210,884. That’s a daily loss of nearly 30,000. The paper reported some of its numbers online in a three-paragraph brief. It also ran the Associated Press Story, which didn’t reflect the Herald’s substantial circulation decline.

Tampa Tribune, edged down 2.4 percent, to 187,582 daily circ., as reported by the St. Pete Times.

Palm Beach Post didn’t report anything, according to a search of its online archive.

Jacksonville Times-Union also mum.


Anonymous said...

It appears you lament the lack of reporting on the circ losses. Does Pepsi take out an ad and tell everyone that it sells less than Coke? Does Burger King run ads saying they still can't beat McDonald's? Why would you want to tell your remaining paying customers that more people have determined you are no longer worth their time and money? This kind of thinking and self-flagellation has been going on for a few years now, and has definitely played a part in the downturn that cost many of us our jobs.

Anonymous said...

Guess what? Everything is done electronically now. I was 25 years old before there were microwaves (let's see if any of you crack investigative reporters can figure my age out)and I have seen everything from slide rules to telephones with cords on them go by the wayside. It is a paradigm shift and the genius types in the news media can't figure it out. I would expect in five years the daily print media will be totally gone or in some form or fashion to be meaningless.

What the news media has not figured out is that they will need a complete conversion to totally electronic which will mean the wholesale layoffs of all personnel associated with the print operation. Advertising will be sold over the phone and the advertisers will provide the copy to the media outlet to be posted on line along with their website embedded in the ad. There will be a abundace of reporting and the cost of starting a media outlet will be much reduced since the founder will not have to worry about plant space for printing, vehicles for delivery, etc. All they will need is a networked server, reporters, Editorial staff, web page and someone to sell advertisements. Then we will not be the one horse one paper town Orlando has been for the past 30 years. As soon as they figure this out, the better off they will be.