New U.S. Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers have been released, and about the only happy news was for the Wall Street Journal, whose circ rose six-tenths of a percent while USA Today‘s dropped 17.5 percent. Thus, WSJ supplants USA Today as the national circulation leader. The New York Times lost 7.3 percent, dropping below one million; the New York Post dropped 18.8 percent, the Daily News 14 percent. (Newsday tells us that its most recent drop was 5.4 percent; on their website, this comes after an announcement of its upcoming pay-to-read policy.)
Things are tough all over: the 379 papers ABC audited showed an aggregate loss of 10.6 percent circulation. The San Francisco Chronicle was hit hardest (25.8 percent). The York (PA) Daily Record , however, showed a gain of 16.5 percent. This we attribute to its outstanding local coverage (“Two York streets closed this morning”), its service reporting (“Audition for ’12 Angry Jurors’ at York Little Theatre”), and its keen instinct for what pleases its audience: the Record‘s current most-viewed item is “Survey finds college grads lack professionalism.”
Graham Rayman’s recent consideration of the fate of New York dailies is here.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2009