Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Newspapers: headed for a rapid decline

Monday's US newspaper circulation numbers showed a 2.6% decline over the six months to September.

Hardly surprising and not even so bad, if compared to line-loss at telcos (Verizon -6%). Moreover, the number was dragged down by the San Francisco Chronicle, which dropped 16.4% because it ended some subsidized sales. Excluding this paper, the decline was 2.1%.

The more remarkable about the whole thing is Tom Fiedler's (editor at the Miami Herald)response on Editor & Publisher. 'Circulation will continue to drop until there will be a plateauing, then I expect a rapid decline. Newspapers will become supplemental reading for a very elite audience,' and the online edition 'will be where the popular press lives.'

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