WSJ Only Major Newspaper to Increase Circulation in Last 6 Months

Newspaper industry sees overall decline, but digital circulation softens print blow

The latest audited circulation report for the newspaper industry is out, and while it’s not exactly pretty, it’s not entirely bloody, either.

Overall, circulation for newspapers in the U.S. declined 5 percent during the six months ended Sept. 30, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Fas-Fax, the industry’s semi-annual scorecard released on Monday.

But electronic editions are increasingly becoming part of the circulation business for newspaper publishers. E-edition circulation was up 47 percent during the period:

Last fall, 282 newspaper reported e-editions in their weekday average totaling 1,577,732. By contrast, for the same period this year, 445 newspapers reported e-editions in their weekday — totaling 2,314,815, for a roughly 47 percent increase in e-editions, according to an ABC rep.

The Wall Street Journal has by far the biggest electronic circulation, with nearly 450,000 getting an electronic version of the paper. The Detroit Free Press is a distant second (about 100,000), with the New York Times (71,697) third in terms of e-circ.

Meanwhile, the Journal was the only major American newspaper to increase its circulation — up 1.82 percent. (The Dallas Morning News — up 0.25 percent — was essentially flat.)

Top 25 U.S. Newspapers in Terms of Circulation

1. Wall Street Journal 2,061,142 | 1.82%*
2. USA Today 1,830,594 | -3.66%
3. New York Times 876,638  | -5.52%
4. Los Angeles Times 600,449 | -8.67%
5. Washington Post 545,345 | -6.43%
6. New York Daily News 512,520 | -5.82%
7. New York Post 501,501 | -1.29%
8. San Jose Mercury News 477,592 | N/A
9. Chicago Tribune 441,508 | -5.23%
10. Houston Chronicle 343,952 | -10.53%
11. Philadelphia Inquirer 342,361 | -5.29%
12. New York Newsday 314,848 | -11.84%
13. Denver Post 309,863 | -9.12%
14. Arizona Republic 308,973 | -2.49%
15. Minneapolis Star Tribune 297,478 | -2.32%
16. Dallas Morning News 264,459 | 0.25%
17. Cleveland Plain Dealer 252,608 | -6.85%
18. Seattle Times 251,697 | -4.51%
19. Chicago Sun-Times 250,747 | -9.03%
20. Detroit Free Press 245,326 | -9.05%
21. St. Petersburg Times 239,684 | -0.19%
22. Oregonian 239,071 | -4.05%
23. San Diego Union-Tribune 224,761 | -7.39%
24. San Francisco Chronicle 223,549 | -11.21%
25. Newark Star-Ledger 223,037 | -9.34%

* Percentage change, year-over-year

[Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations]