Newspaper Circulation Skids Another 7% over Latest Six-Month Period

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Includes: GCI, GHC, MNI, NWS, NYT
by: Marketing Charts

More bad news from newspapers: for the six months ended March 31, 2009, the largest dailies are losing subscribers at a record pace, with circulation down 7% compared with the same period in March 2008.

For Sunday newspapers, circulation was down 5.3%, per the Audit Bureau of Circulations, writes Editor & Publisher.

Circulation at the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) slipped 3.5% during the week and 1.7% on Sundays. The Washington Post (WPO) fell 1.6% daily and 2.3% on Sundays, while USA Today (NYSE:GCI) fell 7.4% during the week on a decline in copies ordered from hotels. The Chicago Tribune fell 7.4% daily and 4.5% on Sunday, and the Los Angeles Times slipped 6.5% and 7.5%.

The Boston Globe plunged 13.6% during the week and 11.2% on Sundays. Other papers that saw double-digit declines in circulation include the New York Daily News (NASDAQ:NWS) (down 14% during the week), New York Post (down 20%), The Miami Herald (-15.8%), the San Francisco Chronicle (-15.7%), the Philadelphia Inquirer (-13.7%), and the Houston Chronicle (-14%).

In addition to sinking circulation, newspaper ad revenue is plunging at historic rates. McClatchy (NYSE:MNI) ad revenue plummeted 29.5% in Q1 2009 compared to the same quarter last year, while The New York Times Co. saw ad revenue plunge 27%. Zenith Optimedia predicts that ad spending for newspapers will sink 12% in 2009.