The average daily print circulation of the Union-Tribune took another major fall this year. According to the annual numbers that publications must file every year with the U.S. Postal Service, the U-T's average daily paid circulation for the year ended October 1, 2017, was 121,321; this was down sharply from last year's 144,085, 2015's 164,532, and 2013's 189,822.
The U-T printed the numbers today (October 9). Newspapers also report circulation of the previous day, which in every case is Sunday. On Sundays, the U-T is also taking a hit. For Sundays through October 1, average circulation was 180,154; last year's number was 196,049 and the previous year's was 221,257. In 2013, the number was 251,318.
Since 1960, publications have been required to report circulation data to the postal service in October. There are a number of reasons for the U-T's stark declines. The paper is now printed in Los Angeles and shipped to San Diego. This leads to news delays and delivery woes. Some say the paper's quality has declined, which would be expected as the news staff has been pared sharply.
The metro area in San Diego County, which is the same as the county, has a population of 3.2 million.