Star circulation down

Dateline: Sat 31 Oct 2009

Gannettoid has published the figures some of us have been looking for -- circulation for the Star as well as other Gannett properties (which is how Gannett sees its newspapers).

On 9/30/08, the Indianapolis Star's daily circulation (paid) was 240,586; as of the same date in 2009, circulation had fallen to 199,207. That is a decline of 41,479 subscribers, or a 17.2 percent drop.

Likewise, the Star's Sunday paper has fallen from 321,760 in 9/30/08 to 295,773 on the same date in 2009. That is a drop of 25,987 or 8.1 percent down.

Here is the summary from Gannettoid:

"The Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta is Gannett's only daily newspaper to post an increase in circulation over the previous year, according to the latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The Times-Delta is listed with a 15.1-percent increase, from 18,575 weekday copies to 21,386. The morning paper does not publish a Sunday edition.

All other Gannett properties showed losses, according to the ABC report on Gannett. The largest loss by percentage was suffered by The Courier-News in Somerville, N.J. The paper lost 7,408 of 26,805 for a dip of 27.6 percent. The paper's Sunday numbers fell 20.6 percent, to 23,560, also the biggest drop in that category for company newspapers......

"Overall, Gannett totals show a 13.2-percent drop, from a reported weekday circulation of 4,184,387 to 3,631,275. The Sunday totals fell 7.6 percent, from 5,393,738 to 4,984,684."

These are grim figures, but since I have given up beating on the newspaper -- I subscribe, I am a loyal newspaper consumer -- all I can say is "too bad..."

Also, at some point, I was going to make a last-ditch argument here that the death of newspapers is (perhaps) greatly exaggerated; I'd always maintained that the Star is healthy, financially, which I think it is, moreso than other papers -- ad revenue appears to be strong based on inserts, and at least the paper is still publishing and delivering 7 days a week, unlike others, that have curtailed home delivery.

But I won't be making that argument. The truth is in the numbers. And a dour truth it is....but no more than Gannett deserves, for all the people it's axed and bad decisions made....

Here is the Gannettoid link:






hendy [Member] said:

Were there a compelling reason, people wouldn't have left. But The Star could make themselves invaluable online if they wanted to... or have a real news department. Maybe put the comics back in color....

No... it's an attitude. They're with it or not.

2009-10-31 15:35:52

ruthholl [Member] said:

But how do you create value online without charging?
Or are you saying: time to go for paid access?
That failed for the NYT.
It seems the whole concept is doomed, as you yourself have said many times...
But please, give me your insight/wisdom.

2009-11-01 10:26:52

hendy [Member] said:

The value proposition has to motivate people to not watch something on a screen. Or, to extend that idea, create value where people want to go-- for whatever reasons. Make it coupons. Comics. News.

The 'portal' idea in computing still holds water. AOL, Yahoo, and even Bing are portals. Google adds mass through applications and search capabilities.

The old days of sitting down at breakfast and reading the earnest work of journalists, columnists, and others is going away. Now, people check their Facebook pages, and RSS readers to see what's going on in the tribal worlds around them.

They go to affinity sites based on their political persuasion. They get entertainment from GooTube, or watch something at Hulu.

In the midst of this diversity of offerings, news mixed with entertainment, shopping, even reading (viz the Kindle and other e-book readers) is where a journalism site lives. Vetted news. The official word. Commentary/opinion. Insight. Information/content transfer. Giggles. Aw shucks stuff. Crossword and sudoku.

How do we spend out time? What do we value in terms of objective content and statistics? The answers are playing out. Gannett's mechanisms aren't the answer, and neither are the NYT's. I go to both sites. Does their business model change to accommodate this new content delivery system-- the Internet? It will, or both will die, and without a doubt. We haven't seen the end of what's going to happen because the Internet is a work in progress, and likely will continue to be. The only thing certain, besides more taxes and death in life, is change.

The Internet's a flexible medium. I'm for ebook/readers and similar form factors for media consumption. They're ultimately handier than laptops and cellphones. But we're still experimenting with functionality, digital rights, business models, and the ecosystems that go with them. I've put my bets there....

2009-11-01 11:16:21

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Now, people check their Facebook pages, and RSS readers to see what's going on in the tribal worlds around them.

They go to affinity sites based on their political persuasion. They get entertainment from GooTube, or watch something at Hulu."

America is trivializing itself to death.

2009-11-02 12:20:55

zach [unverified] said:

Check out the editorial and commercial success of the Current Publications in Carmel, Westfield and now Noblesville. They are giving readers what they asked for for free and advertisers what they want in 100 percent penetration in the market.

2009-11-05 23:13:54

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