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Union-Tribune daily (Mon.-Fri.) circulation dropped to 242,705 from 269,820 for the six months ended September 2009 compared with the same six months of 2008, according to data released this morning (Oct. 26) by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. This was a 10.05% decline. The U-T is ranked 24th among the top 25 metro dailies (including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today). Many large dailies did worse than the U-T: Portland's Oregonian -12.06%, San Francisco Chronicle -25.82%, Los Angeles Times -11.05%, Phoenix's Arizona Republic -12.3%, Dallas Morning News -22.16%, and Boston Globe -18.48%. Others did better: New York Times -7.28%, Washington Post -6.4%, Chicago Tribune -9.72%, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune -5.53%.

The Sunday U-T declined 9.6% to 309,571. The paper's Sunday street sales have been among the worst U.S. newspapers for some time. The company has launched a "payday pursuit" contest. Someone buying the Sunday paper has six chances to win $10,000.

North County Times Sunday circulation dropped 16.5% to 71,092 as daily declined 19.01% to 69,559. The Los Angeles Times Sunday edition dropped out of the one million category, declining from 1,055,076 to 983,702. Daily is down to 657,467. The Orange County Register Sunday circulation dropped 3.4% to 288,174. Daily declined 10.15% to 212,293.

The publication Editor & Publisher noted that many newspapers are cutting back on certain kinds of circulation, such as to hotels and employees, and are not distributing papers to remote locations as much. Also, some are raising prices, even though ABC beginning April 1 permitted a newspaper sold for one penny to count as paid circulation.

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Comments

JustWondering Oct. 26, 2009 @ 12:09 p.m.

In six days the UT ends SignonSandiego.com as its been known for years. Instead they'll published the Eedition of the SDUT, an identical copy of the published version. While signonsandiego.com has been free for years, I suspect the new Eedition will not be... it will just another way for the SDUT to claim additional readers than the 1.15 million they claim now-a-days.

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Don Bauder Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:51 p.m.

Response to post #1: It's clear that the U-T will be charging for some of its online material. I don't know whether it will charge for all of it. If it charges for all of it, it will lose a number of people. Your second point is about Scarborough. It is my understanding that when the U-T says it has 1.15 million readers a week, it is only referring to the print edition. These are adults who say they have seen at least some part of the paper at least once in a week. I have never been impressed by that number. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Oct. 26, 2009 @ 3:37 p.m.

If the print newspaper is fading away fast, and that appears to be the case all around the nation, then publishers have to come up with some way to get revenue. They cannot support news staffs on nothing, or depend upon volunteers. But how much can they charge, and what will they charge to see? That's the rub.

I really doubt that advertising in on-line newspapers is the answer to the income issue. They cannot display enough ads at one time to equal the exposure of a page of newsprint. So, it looks as if they'll have to depend upon the readers of the stories and editorials to pay to look at them. But will it work? That will be the real test of the news industry, and I'm not terribly optimistic.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 26, 2009 @ 3:58 p.m.

I no longer read the UT-except for maybe once a day I vist the webpage and read MAYBE one article on the opening page-but that is it-nothign else.

Of course I pay nothinbg, so they don't lose a penny if they keep me or other non paying customers happy-can't blame them.

When they banned my surfpuppy account that was the last straw.

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Don Bauder Oct. 26, 2009 @ 9:07 p.m.

Response to post #3: Online advertising is not doing well, either. There have been several reports on that. One is in today's (Oct, 26) New York Times. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 26, 2009 @ 9:12 p.m.

Response to post #4: Well, you could at least look at the comics, SP. Incidentally, in my response to post #3, I said that online advertising is not doing well. I should have stated that online advertising for newspapers is not doing well. Overall online advertising is inching back. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Nov. 2, 2009 @ 11:28 a.m.

Readership might go even lower, especially on SignOn SanDiego where the newly released website is not getting positive reviews. That could be a story in itself. It's slower, it crashes, things are missing. If they use to have any dial-up readers, they won't be able to use it with all the new resource demands for their flashy graphics.

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2009 @ 12:50 p.m.

Response to post #7: I am hearing complaints about that new website. Of course, when you change a website, there are always floods of complaints. The U-T is taking a step that most newspapers have been reluctant to take. Best, Don Bauder

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