Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Gawker plugs some numbers, and the result is depressing (more so for those j-students than for me, of course, but still):
Total daily newspaper circulation, 2005: 47,374,033
Total daily newspaper circulation, 2001: 55,578,046
Decrease in daily newspaper circ in four years: 15%

Total Sunday newspaper circulation, 2005: 51,073,104
Total Sunday newspaper circulation, 2001: 59,090,364
Decrease in Sunday newspaper circ in four years: 14%

Total number of newspaper jobs, 2005: 54,134
Total number of newspaper jobs, 2001: 56,393
Decrease in newspaper jobs in four years: 5%

Tuition at Columbia J-School, 2004-5: $34,104
Number of students scheduled to graduate from the Columbia J-School in two weeks: About 210

Number of j-students right now realizing what a colossally dumb career choice they made, running across West 116th Street, and hurling themselves into the Hudson: About 210


At 2:26 AM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Nick said...

Is this really that depressing, though? Aren't we succeeding, if modestly, in attracting young people to our Web sites? And aren't we starting to figure out how to "monetize" those readers? (I know Knight Ridder is making money, or starting to.) Maybe what we need is an ABC for online circulation to perk us all up.

At 3:15 AM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Niko Dugan said...

Keep in mind that circulation is different from actual readership. Since circulation counts only papers sold, it assumes only one person reads the newspaper they subscribed to. Readership numbers would be vastly larger since, like television, it would measure how many people actually read the paper, instead of how many buy a single copy or a subscription.

Wow -- $34,000 a year to go to Columbia? Those students should have invested in a trip to the Midwest. :)

At 11:38 AM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

A 15 percent drop in four years? I think that's depressing -- even if we're picking up some young people on the Web.

The shift of focus from circulation to readership is interesting. But that seems like a pretty nebulous number to track. And surely readership would be dropping along with circulation, right?

At 11:54 AM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

OK, perhaps even worse -- this E&P story says that it's not just circulation that is dropping; it's that the picture looks even worse among the "quality" numbers, in which 50 percent or more has been paid:

Merrill Lynch did the analysis, and here are the rankings with quality change (for this six months of the year-ago period) followed by the overall change.

The Sacramento Bee +0.8 (+0.5)
Minneapolis Star Tribune -0.4 ( +0.3)
North County Times (Calif.) -0.4 ( -1.9)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch -0.8 (+1.2)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -1.4 (-0.8)
The Boston Globe -2.1 (-3.9)
The New York Times -2.2 (+0.2)
Wisconsin State Journal -2.3 (-1.6)
The Washington Post -3.8 (-2.7)
The Philadelphia Inquirer -3.9 (-3.0)
The Miami Herald -4.7 (-3.8)
Detroit Free Press -6.1 (-2.3)
Chicago Tribune -7.5 (-6.5)
Rocky Mountain News (Denver) -9.4 (-6.5)
USA Today -9.8 (+0.3)
The Wall Street Journal -9.9 ( -1.5)
Los Angeles Times -12.9 (-7.7)
New Haven (Conn.) Register -20.9 (-1.8)

At 5:28 PM, May 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your mention of Columbia's J-school: If all those students "cross 116th Street" to get to the Hudson, they'd have to run all the way to the Battery. The Hudson is west of the campus, but 116th Street runs east-west, so they'd have to cross Broadway.
Nice try, though.

At 5:31 PM, May 05, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

I'll be sure to let Gawker know.

At 9:24 PM, May 05, 2005, Blogger lllmiller said...

When are newspapers going to wake up? They need to radically change their approach to presenting "news." Offering the same day-old news is not going to cut it in an Internet world. Interesting that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted a slight increase. What are they doing different? Wake up newspaper leaders! Readers want more analysis, perspective and news about consumer, business, health issues that they don't get elsewhere.

At 11:00 AM, May 07, 2005, Anonymous Marc said...

As someone who has been an editor at a weekly newspaper for almost 17 years, I wonder if there is a study on weekly newspaper circulation. Also, is there a study on the number of new weekly newspapers in the last five or 10 years?


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