US newspaper circulation dips again

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Daily circulation figures for US newspapers released on Monday provided more bad news for the embattled industry.

Average daily circulation fell more than 10 percent in the April-September period compared with the same period last year, accelerating a slide which has led to bankruptcies, closures and cutbacks in newsrooms across the country.
Average circulation for Sunday newspapers was down 7.49 percent.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures also confirmed a claim made earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal that it had become the largest US newspaper by weekday circulation, leapfrogging USA Today.

Of the top 25 newspapers in the United States, the Journal was the only one to gain Monday-Friday circulation, rising 0.61 percent to 2.02 million.

USA Today's circulation fell 17.5 percent to 1.9 million.

Average daily circulation for 379 daily newspapers was down 10.62 percent at the end of September to 30.39 million from 34.0 million at the end of September 2008.

The slide was greater than the 7.09 percent registered during the October to March period and the 4.64 percent decline during April to September last year.

The San Francisco Chronicle suffered the steepest Monday-Friday circulation loss among the top 25 US newspapers, shedding 25.82 percent to 251,782.

Other big losers were the Newark Star-Ledger, down 22.22 percent to 246,006, the Dallas Morning News, down 22.16 to 263,810, the New York Post, down 18.77 to 508,042, and the Boston Globe, which shed 18.48 percent to 264,105.
Monday-Friday circulation of The New York Times fell below one million as the newspaper lost 7.28 percent to 927,851.

The Los Angeles Times saw its circulation fall 11.05 percent to 657,467 while The Washington Post's circulation dropped 6.40 percent to 582,844.

The US newspaper industry has been reeling from a steep drop in print advertising revenue, steadily declining circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.