4 p.m., Dec. 5
Union-Tribune Circulation Plummets, Says Trade Magazine
Union-Tribune daily circulation is plunging at more than three times the rate of other metropolitan daily papers, according to Editor & Publisher, the media trade magazine, which was apparently leaked advance information on the official Audit Bureau of Circulation numbers, which will be released Monday a.m. I will post the official numbers Monday morning. Daily circulation at the U-T plummeted 8.5 percent over a six month period, compared to a similar period a year earlier, according to E&P. Sunday circulation was down 7.9 percent. On average, dailies will report losses of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent Monday, says E&P in its news story. The publication quoted a U-T executive saying the loss greatly reflects a deliberate drop in discounted and bonus copies. A category called "other" circulation has artificially bloated U-T numbers for several years; advertisers normally don't like such misleading numbers. Some, including myself, believe that the U-T's consistent and escalating slanting of news in the last two years has exacerbated the circulation plunge. According to E&P, there were large falloffs in Atlanta, Dallas and South Florida, as well. These may reflect real estate problems, such as San Diego has suffered.