Monday, November 01, 2004

Newspapers Continue Circulation Decline

NAA Says New FAS-FAX Shows 'Expected' Circ Declines
By Jennifer Saba
Published: November 01, 2004 12:30 PM EDT

NEW YORK - According to an analysis of the latest FAS-FAX circulations figures, due out this afternoon, the Newspaper Association of America reported today that overall daily circulation dropped .9% and Sunday circulation decreased 1.5%. The NAA said that 281 of 841 papers that reported figures gained circulation.

"These new ABC figures are in range with what we expected," said John Sturm, NAA president and CEO, in a statement. "Important as it is, circulation is just one component of the information advertisers use to evaluate media purchases."

For the six-month period ending March 2004, the NAA said that overall daily circulation dipped 0.1% and Sunday declined 0.9% when compared to the same period last year.

The NAA also released its Competitive Media Index, which measures readership, and found that in the top 50 markets, eight out of 10 adults, or 115 million people, read the newspaper over the course of a week.

Small declines occurred in the index as well: Every weekday, 52.8% adults read the newspaper, compared with 53.4% in spring 2004. For Sunday, 61.2% of adults read the paper, down from 62% in spring 2004.

The CMI is an analysis of Scarborough Research data from the top 75 markets covering February 2003 to March 2004 and all adults 18 and older.

The following are the top 10 markets for adult readership:

Daily
1. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (62.7%)
2. Cleveland (62.4%)
3. New York (61.7%)/Pittsburgh (61.7%)
4. Boston (61.4%)
5. Philadelphia (61.2%)
6. West Palm Beach, Fla. (61.1%)
7. Providence/New Bedford, R.I. (59.9%)
8. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota, Fla. (59.4%)
9. New Orleans (59.3%)
10. Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York, Pa. (58.7%)

Sunday:
1. Cleveland (74.4%)
2. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota, Fla. (72.3%)
3. West Palm Beach, Fla. (72.2%)
4. Providence/New Bedford, R.I. (72%)
5. Pittsburgh (70.5%)
6. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (70.1%)
7. Buffalo, N.Y. (68.8%)
8. Philadelphia (68.7%)
9. Milwaukee (68.5%)
10. Norfolk/Portsmouth/Newport News, Va. (67%)