SBD/May 4, 2012/Research and Ratings

Hot Off The Press: Newspaper Circ On The Rise, Aided By Jump In Web Subscriptions

Daily circulation for the 618 newspapers reporting comparable multiday averages rose 0.7% through the end of March compared to the same period last year, fueled largely by increases in digital circulation and branded editions, according to recent data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. On average, digital circulation now accounts for 14.2% of newspapers' total circulation mix, up from 8.7% in March '11. Digital circulation may be tablet or smartphone apps, PDF replicas, metered or restricted-access websites or e-reader editions. Branded editions -- which are defined as newspaper-owned products such as commuter, community, alternative-language, or Sunday Select type newspapers -- made up 4.5% of newspapers' total average circulation, up from 3.4% last year. Listed below are the top 15 U.S. newspapers by circulation through the end of March (Audit Bureau of Circulations).

TOP 15 DAILY U.S. NEWSPAPERS BY AVG. CIRCULATION
THROUGH END OF MARCH
PAPER
PRINT
DIGITAL
BRANDED
EDITIONS
AVG. CIRC.
% +/-
Wall Street Journal
1,566,027
552,288
0
2,118,315
0.0%
USA Today
1,701,777
115,669
0
1,817,446
-0.6%
N.Y. Times
779,731
807,026
0
1,586,757
73.1%
L.A. Times
489,514
100,221
26,840
616,575
1.9%
N.Y. Daily News
400,061
156,470
23,105
579,636
9.2%
San Jose Mercury News
139,825
66,213
369,748
575,786
-0.3%
N.Y. Post
408,579
146,748
0
555,327
6.2%
Washington Post
467,450
40,165
0
507,615
-7.8%
Chicago Sun-Times
200,503
68,986
152,846
422,335
0.7%
Chicago Tribune
387,217
27,373
0
414,590
-5.2%
Dallas Morning News
202,123
49,795
153,431
405,349
0.1%
Denver Post
240,200
150,920
10,000
401,120
23.4%
Newsday
284,357
113,616
0
397,973
33.2%
Houston Chronicle
254,696
91,422
37,889
384,007
5.3%
Philadelphia Inquirer
205,412
55,921
63,958
325,291
-5.4%
 

NOTES: The paid/verified circulation model defines paid circulation as copies purchased by an individual recipient or a specialized distribution channel, such as business/traveler. Verified circulation includes much of what used to be reported in "other" paid circulation, including third-party copies and copies distributed to schools and newspaper employees.

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