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.