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The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) today (May 3) reported circulation figures for U.S. newspapers. However, ABC has changed its methodology and definitions, and recommends that current figures not be compared to previous numbers. Daily print (Monday-Friday) circulation of the Union-Tribune for the six months ended March 31 was 204,967. Sunday print circulation was 289,042. When digital replica editions (same editorial, layout and run-of-press advertising) is included, the daily total becomes 218,614 and Sunday 296,272. North County Times daily print circulation was 58,685 and Sunday 66,261. With the inclusion of digital replica and branded editions (those aimed at a special geographic or demographic audiences), daily came to 80,402 and Sunday 83,151. (The U-T did not report branded circulation separately.)

The U-T reported total web activities of 3,504,193. The Los Angeles Times reported total web activities of 33,063,095. The North County Times did not report this number.

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JustWondering May 3, 2011 @ 9:21 a.m.

So this begs some questions. How do the new methodology and definitions differ from the previous ones? What is the purpose of the change?


Don Bauder May 3, 2011 @ 8:09 p.m.

Sorry to be cynical, JW, but when a company or industry is in trouble, and it is regularly reporting that business is sinking, a new reporting methodology and accounting changes are often in store. These don't stop the bleeding but make the story less depressing. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh May 3, 2011 @ 10:36 a.m.

I suspect that this new methodology seeks to give credit for on-line readership. What it REALLY does is make the situation look better than it is. The ABC is supported by both advertisers and by the media. Advertisers are abandoning print media, especially newspapers, rapidly, and many are probably no longer ABC member/subscribers. So, the ABC is now probably in thrall to the media, and will do their bidding.


Don Bauder May 3, 2011 @ 8:10 p.m.

Definitely. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder May 4, 2011 @ 6:38 a.m.

NOTE: IF YOU MAKE COMPARISONS WITH PAST NUMBERS, WHICH I DIDN'T DO, THE U-T COMES OUT POORLY. In covering the ABC numbers, the Los Angeles Times compared this six month performance of newspapers with their prior numbers. I had avoided doing that, taking ABC's advice that such comparisons would be invidious. Said the Times, "The San Diego Union-Tribune had a circulation decline across the board, dropping 12.4% on weekdays and 4.7 on Sundays." Thanks to Matt Potter for sending this along. Best, Don Bauder


Fred Williams July 25, 2011 @ 9:23 a.m.

Don, I wrote this comment at the UT's site where they made the announcement of the new "Community Editorial Board".


They promptly deleted it. I've posted it there again, but to make sure it does not disappear for ever I'll share it here too.

Paper Cuts Costs and Cuts Editorial Board

by Fred Williams

In a ground breaking move, the Union Tribune newspaper in San Diego, CA., replaced its paid editorial writers with a group of volunteers.

Jeff Light announced the shakeup as part of general cost cutting measures.

"Since our editorial board was so lame anyway, we thought we'd put them out of their misery. Then I was clicking around on my Facebook account, and noticed that I've got some friends who would probably write for free."

Media analysts applaud the move, which is expected to raise the sale price of the UT. At the moment, the buildings owned by the UT are considered more valuable than the newspaper.

"Frankly, chimpanzees writing editorials would be fine with me," said Light. "So long as it fills up that white space between the advertising, I'm good."

While detractors claim this new board is far from representative of San Diego, Light was frank with the critics.

"Look, dude. No one cares. Who reads this anyway? We're out of here in a year, tops. This is just window dressing to make it still look like a paper so we can unload it on some sucker. You want quality journalism and opinion...check out the Reader, VOSD, or City Beat. The UT is dead...and you can quote me on that."


SurfPuppy619 July 25, 2011 @ 1:09 p.m.

Hahahahhah.................Hilarious stuff............!!


SurfPuppy619 July 25, 2011 @ 1:10 p.m.

Don, I wrote this comment at the UT's site where they made the announcement of the new "Community Editorial Board".


They promptly deleted it

Actually it is still up, a 9:15AM post-it is in fact the very first post at the top of the page.


Twister July 25, 2011 @ 8:05 p.m.

Curiously, I picked up this limp, lame rag this morning, noting that the price is now $0.92 plus tax. Some sucker had left it at the cafe . . .

As to the "volunteer" editors, the professionalism was slipping last year, when I wrote an Op-Ed piece for them--they printed it but didn't send a check, not even a tear sheet. 'Twas an inglorious end to my "career" of occasional Op-Eds that began with the LA Times in the mid-eighties . . .

But hey, I have advanced to "the assumed position" of an irregular volunteer blogger and gladly a gadfly for the Reader which is a helluva lot more fun, and no dead lines stuck in at some intern-editor's request. Now I can be a slut rather than a whore--evermore, evermore. They can no longer pierce my heart with their blackguard beaks. I can be as sloppy as I want . . .


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