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U-T, North County Times Lose Circulation, but LA Times, Orange County Register Do Worse

Circulation at the Union-Tribune and North County Times continues to drop, but other Southern California dailies are doing worse, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations data for the first six months of 2008 released this morning (April 28, 2008). The Union-Tribune's Monday-Friday circulation dropped 2.59 percent to 288,669. That was less than the national average of a 3.5 percent decline. However, Sunday circulation dropped 5.6 percent to 355,537, worse than the national average of a 4.5 percent decline. Circulation at the North County Times dropped 4.6 percent both Sunday and Monday-Friday, to 91,627 and 91,212, respectively. The U-T's daily circulation ranks it 24th among U.S. dailies; San Diego county is the nation's 17th largest metropolitan market. (The first two papers on that list, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, are national.) The Orange County Register and LA Times did poorly. The Register's Monday-Friday circulation plunged 11.9 percent to 250,724. Sunday dropped 5.3 percent to 311,982. LA Times Monday-Friday circulation dropped 5.1 percent to 773,884. Sunday dropped 6 percent to 1,101,981.

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Circulation at the Union-Tribune and North County Times continues to drop, but other Southern California dailies are doing worse, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations data for the first six months of 2008 released this morning (April 28, 2008). The Union-Tribune's Monday-Friday circulation dropped 2.59 percent to 288,669. That was less than the national average of a 3.5 percent decline. However, Sunday circulation dropped 5.6 percent to 355,537, worse than the national average of a 4.5 percent decline. Circulation at the North County Times dropped 4.6 percent both Sunday and Monday-Friday, to 91,627 and 91,212, respectively. The U-T's daily circulation ranks it 24th among U.S. dailies; San Diego county is the nation's 17th largest metropolitan market. (The first two papers on that list, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, are national.) The Orange County Register and LA Times did poorly. The Register's Monday-Friday circulation plunged 11.9 percent to 250,724. Sunday dropped 5.3 percent to 311,982. LA Times Monday-Friday circulation dropped 5.1 percent to 773,884. Sunday dropped 6 percent to 1,101,981.

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Comments
14

Too bad about the L.A. Times, it has been the only daily California newspaper still worth reading and thinking about.

This stat may be part of an economic indicator of newspaper subscribers who have hung in there but who are also cutting back to another level.

But then Zell's buyout hasn't helped either. I don't know who is having the worst impact on the quality of news, Zell or Murdoch, but they are both trashing the entire industry.

Considering current events, this election is the most meaningful in a very long time. If you can wake up your readers to vote out all republicans at last, then maybe there is hope.

April 29, 2008

Response to post #1: Yes, the LA Times has suffered internal turmoil that began long before Zell arrived and has continued. Circulation has declined. Through all this, it remains a good paper, because it is reliable. Best, Don Bauder

April 29, 2008

LA Times is the best paper in the nation.

Too early to tell if Zell's purchase will cause any changes-good or bad-he just bought the paper a few months ago. Zell is taking a hands off approach.

Dianne Jacobs was bent out of shape last week they would not run an editorial she sent in regarding Zell and a mobile home park he owns in the east county.

April 29, 2008

Response to post #3: I don't think the LA Times is as good as the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal, but to each his own. For the past couple of years, the NY Times has been veering off in directions I don't like (too much lifestyle stuff). I do not like the Journal's changes under Murdoch, either. Nonetheless, we drive to town each day (10 miles each direction) to get the NY Times and Wall St. Journal. Best, Don Bauder

April 29, 2008

Yesterday we mistakenly got the U-T delivered instead of our usual L.A. Times. We felt as though we'd received lukewarm coffee out of a vending machine rather than our usual freshly-brewed French roast...

April 29, 2008

Yesterday we mistakenly got the U-T delivered instead of our usual L.A. Times. We felt as though we'd received lukewarm coffee out of a vending machine rather than our usual freshly-brewed French roast...

I hear ya!!!

One of the saddest days of my life was in 1988 when the LA Times closed down the San Diego operation/bureau.

I still subscribed, but it was not the same.

Who remembers when the LA Times broke the SDPD story on Bill Kolander fixing traffic tickets for his buddies!!!! BUSTED!!! (but admittingly not as good as the Cunningham bust by the UT).

April 29, 2008

Response to post #5: Yes, the U-T lacks interesting content. Much of it is amateurish. I hope the LA Times can keep up quality as it, too, trims its staff. Best, Don Bauder

April 29, 2008

Responsed to post #6: The Times had trouble competing in San Diego. It could cover some things well, but not enough things well. Newspaper readers have quite varied interests: some read the paper mainly for sports, others business, others the comics, others the crossword puzzle. As it lays off staff, the U-T is covering less and less of the community. Best, Don Bauder

April 29, 2008

Reply to post #10: And I should have looked at post #10 before I answered post #9. Best, Don Bauder

May 1, 2008

A newspaper is only as good as its troops on the ground.

I found Tony Green on the LA Times to be a marginalized at best, alternatively cheerleading for the SD establishment, sports teams and moving the airport to Miramar.

After reading his SD pieces for ~20 years, I can't recall a single major story that he broke.

April 30, 2008

Reply to #9:

I must be blocking: The reporter for the LA Times based in San Diego is "Tony Perry".

Good thing I'm not working for any of the newspapers - they'd already be history!

May 1, 2008

Response to post #9: Are you thinking of Tony Perry, not Tony Green? Tony Perry was for the ballpark and is pro-establishment. I don't agree with those positions, but he certainly has a right to take them. He was criticized for appearing in a TV production in which he was lobbing softball questions at Moores and Lucchino. As I recall, the Padres used it as a promotion film. I had a problem with that. Best, Don Bauder

May 1, 2008

Reply to post #11: I would have fewer objections to Tony Perry's positions if he would have been a columnist, along the lines of Steve Lopez of the LATimes. Instead, Perry assumed a range of positions of "reporter", "editor" and "columnist" in his San Diego coverage for the LATimes. No doubt this was partially caused by the short-staffing of the LATimes in SD, but even so...

And his pimping for the San Diego Padres in a promotional film certainly accounts for why he missed out on some of the biggest corruption stories in San Diego history.

Whatever happened to those reporters we watched in "Front Page", who would sell their soul for a good scoop?

May 1, 2008

Response to post #14: It can be difficult when you are wearing a bunch of different hats. When I was with the U-T, I wrote a daily column, but also wrote news stories. And I also had the title of editor. Perhaps the stories he writes that are slanted one way or another are considered interpretative pieces, such as those that run regularly in the NY Times -- "behind the news" sorts of things. He also gives his opinions on radio and TV a lot, as I did when I was at the U-T and still do occasionally now. Best, Don Bauder

May 1, 2008

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