Monday, October 26, 2009

Media Monday: Don't overreact to circulation report

The Audit Bureau of Circulation is releasing it's report on the latest circulation figures for the nation's newspapers and, at first glance, it may look like the numbers are falling off a cliff.

Today, you will see our brethren in the broadcast industry jump all over this story and talk about the demise of newspapers.

As I have said before: Not so fast my friend.

There are many reasons for this other than just some dramatic decline in readership.

First, many newspapers, including the Amarillo Globe-News, have increased the subscription prices. Others have increased their single copy prices.

Also, many newspapers are pulling back their circulation from outlying areas because of increased distribution costs. We've done the same.

Other newspapers are decreasing the amount of newspapers that allow a company to purchase and then send to customers who may not be receiving the newspaper. This is called a "third-party" transaction and newspapers have been decreasing this over the years.

Some newspapers are decreasing the amount of newspapers they sell through their Newspaper in Education program because of the cost of doing the program. Some now do it electronically, as we do here at the Globe-News.

Our most recent reports show our Sunday circulation at 49,084 and our daily circulation at 38,179. While both are down slightly, our figures are much better than the industry averages.

If you figure the average copy is read by at least two people, we reach almost 100,000 every Sunday and more than 70,000 daily.

Our montly reach on our web site,, is aboout 360,000 unique visitors, with about 80 percent of those not subscribing to the newspaper.

So in any given month, the combination of our web site and Sunday newspaper reaches an unduplicated audience of about 388,000.

Newspapers have more readers than ever before (but you won't here that today on the broadcast news).

What the national broadcast news reports won't show today is that audiences for their shows have been plummeting for years, often with decreases larger than the ones the newspapers are showing.

I'm sure Bill O'Reilly will blame the New York Time's decrease on their liberal bias, which has very little to do with how many people subscribe to the newspaper.

No comments:

Post a Comment