The Sound of Newspapers Dying

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Will the Wall Street Journal be the biggest newspaper in the country? It might, but not for an especially happy reason. New details on newspaper circulation came out yesterday afternoon and -- who'da thought -- they aren't pretty:

The average daily circulation of U.S. newspapers declined 7% in the six-month period ending March 31, according to the latest data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, reflecting an increased rate of decline over the last two measured periods.

[...] The most spectacular year-over-year declines in daily circulation were seen at the New York Post, down 21%; the Atlanta Journal Constitution, down 20%; the Newark Star-Ledger, off 17%; the San Francisco Chronicle, down nearly 16%; and the Boston Globe, where circulation dropped 14%.

The one bright spot, if you can call it that, seems to be that the Wall Street Journal's circulation increased by 0.6% last year. If that continues than it will pass USA Today as the highest-circulation newspaper in the country. The Journal's circulation is 2.08 million. USA Today's is 2.11 million, which is down 7.5% from last year.

The Pyrrhic victory of owning the highest-circulation newspaper in America will no doubt make Rupert Murdoch happy. I don't know if it will be enough to offset the 21% decline in the circulation of the New York Post.

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Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.
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