'New York Times' Circ Plunges; 'News' Bests 'Post' By Hair

Well lookee here! Turns out we weren't too far off with our predictions that the recent price increase at the New York Times might have kicked off a circulation drop. According to the Audit Board of Circulation's six-month report for the period ending in September, daily circ at the Times fell 4.51% to 1,037,828—with Sunday circulation nosediving by 7.59% to 1,500,394, "at least partly due to a price increase," according to Editor & Publisher. Not that we're saying we told you so.

The Times wasn't the only paper reporting circulation hits&mdash daily numbers for the News and the Post were down 1.5% and 5.2%, respectively, which pushes Zuckerman ahead of Murdoch by a mere 15,000 papers. Brace yourselves for tomorrow's modest and classy cover, folks!

The Wall Street Journal also saw a slide of 1.53% and poor Newsday fell under the 400,000 mark, down by 5.62%.

For the record, major metro papers and magazines have spent a large part of this year and last cutting out what's known as "bad circ," that is, copies sent to school, hotels, and employees. Sponsored third-party bulk sales fall under this category as well, and all of it goes toward a newspaper's final circulation number, regardless of whether that copy of Time magazine sitting in your dentist's office is ever read by a single soul. You didn't think the Post teamed up with Commerce Bank to hand you a free paper in the morning out of the goodness of their hearts, did you?

So in all fairness&mdash stick with us, here!&mdash for many of these papers, lower circulation is actually a step in the right direction&mdash no, seriously! Smart advertisers tend to be more inclined to book their business with a newspaper that offers "quality" circulation, rather than one with a ginormous but bloated number.

Still! We're pretty sure the Times isn't exactly thrilled about losing nearly 8% of their Sunday headcount.