Circulation Stays Flat at Dailies as Population Grows

Staff Reporter

Daily newspaper circulation across L.A. County continued to hold steady during the six-month period ended Sept. 30, according to unaudited figures by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

As a whole, aggregate weekday circulation of the county's nine daily newspapers declined 3.5 percent from the year-earlier period, to 1.7 million. Overall, Sunday readership was flat at 1.9 million for the same period.

The continued stagnation in circulation, said Bryce Nelson, a journalism professor at USC's Annenberg School of Communication, reflects both a modest victory for newspapers as well as their shortcomings.

"It's encouraging one way because they aren't losing a lot more to television and the Internet," Nelson said. "But it's not great news either because we are in a period of increasing households and it shows it's been hard for newspapers to stay consistent with population increases across Southern California."

At the Los Angeles Times, owned by Chicago-based Tribune Co., Monday through Saturday circulation declined 1.1 percent, to an average 955,211. The Times tracks Monday-Wednesday and Thursday-Saturday figures separately. Monday-Wednesday circulation fell 1.1 percent to 914,584 and Thursday-Saturday circulation fell 1 percent to 995,838.

The paper's Sunday circulation saw a modest increase of 2,326 copies, to just shy of 1.4 million. It was the fourth consecutive audit in which the paper's Sunday edition added readers. The Times blamed its average daily readership losses on three home delivery price increases, which started in 2001.

Circulation at the Daily News of Los Angeles, part of William Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group Inc., was flat at 178,360 for the daily edition and on Sundays, with circulation of 201,020.

Two of MediaNews Group's other local properties, the Pasadena Star-News and the Long Beach Press Telegram, saw marginal gains in circulation.

At Investor's Business Daily, circulation fell 18.5 percent to 215,788.

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