Newspapers are continuing to have a hard time keeping and attracting readers, in this internet age. Preliminary figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the industry's readership monitor, show overall U.S. newspaper circulation fell 8.7% in the past six months, compared to figures released a year ago. Sunday circulation fell 6.5%.
The good news is that both declines are less than what the industry suffered a year ago.
ABC's figures also show that 24 of the country's 25 largest newspapers lost circulation over the past six months. The one exception: The Wall St. Journal, which today launched a New York edition challenging the New York Times in its own backyard.The WSJ already has more daily readers than any other newspaper in the country, with 2,092,523.
Among the biggest losers: USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Post and Detroit Free Press -- all down at least 13%. The San Francisco Chronicle brought up the rear, dropping 22.68%.
The Racine Journal Times showed a small gain over the past six months. Sunday's preliminary figure reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations shows 29,437 paid circulation on Sunday, up seven from one year ago; and 27,892 daily, up 214 from last year's 27,678.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, despite winning a Pulitzer, had a tougher year: Sunday circulation dropped to 328,247, from 361,355 last March. Daily circulation dropped to 186,433, from 203,240.
The Kenosha News gained 326 subscribers on Sunday, ending the past six months with 26,548 compared to 26,222 a year ago. Daily circulation dropped more than a thousand, to 22,917, from 23,938 a year ago.
The Madison State Journal, which last year was bolstered by the addition of the now-online-only Capital Times' roughly 12,000 subscriber base, gave up much of that gain. Sunday circulation is down to 125,039 from 133,794. Daily circulation is 91,575, down from 96,918.