This one actually surprised me. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the San Jose Mercury News, with 577,665 weekday and 636,999 Sunday comes in at #5 on list of top 25 circulated newspapers in the country. The time period reported was for the last six months ended March.
Once I digested the information, I felt a slight bit of Bay Area pride. Still, we have a notch to go! While the San Jose Sharks beat the Kings, the L.A. Times is still about 30,000 subscribers stronger than the Merc.
The most widely read newspapers have significant leads with the Wall Street Journal (News Corp.) and USA Today clocking in at 2,117,796 and 1,829,099. New York Times is the next closest, coming in third with 916,911 weekday.
Year over year comparisons were unfortunately not available. Apparently ABC changed their methodology. For newspapers this is a good thing. It would likely have been a blood bath of ugly data with lots of minus signs. Up and to the right this is not. However, if the industry can figure out how to turn things like the iPad into consistent revenue streams there could be hope for an industry that has seen its share of hurt over the past few years.
If it’s tough now, I can only imagine when generation next starts reading – but not buying (in every sense of the word) – the news. This is the generation born under a giant Sun made of Freemium Happy Beams. EVERYTHING it seems is free – or at least is free if you don’t mind a little banner ad here or there, which has proved to be a non-issue for almost all of us. Apple, however, gets a pass. They can charge as much as they want. Plus they get the added bonus of being able to reinvent the industry of their choice every 5 years. Ah, it’s tough being number one.
As the 23rd most circulated, the San Francisco Chronicle also made the top 25 (235,350 weekday).
You have to wonder — just a wee-wee bit: do these numbers tell the whole story? Just the term itself, “circulated,” carries itself with an antiquated air. Royalty and tradition: good for weddings, bad for the publishing business.
WEEKDAY CIRCULATION (OCT 2010 – MAR 2011)
1. The Wall Street Journal — 2,117,796
2. USA Today — 1,829,099
3. The New York Times — 916,911
4. Los Angeles Times — 605,243
5. San Jose Mercury News — 577,665
6. The Washington Post — 550,821
7. Daily News of New York — 530,924
8. New York Post — 522,874
9. Chicago Tribune — 437,205
10. Chicago Sun-Times — 419,407
11. The Dallas Morning News — 404,951
12. Houston Chronicle — 364,724
13. The Philadelphia Inquirer — 343,710
14. The Arizona Republic of Phoenix — 337,170
15. The Denver Post — 324,970
16. Newsday of Long Island, N.Y. — 298,759
17. Star Tribune of Minneapolis — 296,605
18. St. Petersburg Times — 292,441
19. The Oregonian of Portland — 260,248
20. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland — 254,372
21. The Seattle Times — 253,742
22. Detroit Free Press — 246,169
23. San Francisco Chronicle — 235,350
24. The Star-Ledger of Newark — 229,255
25. The Boston Globe — 219,214