The newspaper industry's twice-yearly circulation report has arrived, and it is not a pretty picture overall. There was expectation that total circulation could drop 2.5 percent, and perhaps as much as 3.5 percent.
It was worse. At the nearly 550 papers that reported comparable figures, circulation was down 3.6 percent. At the New York Times, the third-largest paper by circulation, sales were down 3.9 percent, but it was worse elsewhere: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for example, was down 8.5 percent.
It was not all bad news. USA Today was up 0.3 percent, Wall Street Journal up 0.4 percent. But newspaper sales have been declining since the 1980s, and has accelerated in recent years. The average age of a newspaper reader (hard copy) is now about 60.
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