Thursday, May 05, 2005

LA Times Circulation COLLAPSE Even Worse Than Previously Thought!!

The above link is to Editor and Publisher's website. And I quote from the start of the article here:

"NEW YORK In her report this week on the new Fas-Fax circulation numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine observed that circulation declines, already bad enough at some papers, looked even worse when you broke out the "50% or greater paid" category. She noted that in Q1 conference calls, many newspaper companies had indicated that they were trying to reduce the under-50% and "other paid" segments "in an effort to win advertisers over with their resulting 'quality' circulation." But some of these new Fas-Fax numbers are "seemingly in direct conflict with some company remarks," she wrote."

And guess which paper has the largest circulation decline of ANY major newspaper of people who actually pay for the newspaper? Yup - the LA Times! In fact, it the Times has the second worst figure quoted of ANY newspaper in the country!! A staggering 12.9 % decline! That means that almost 13% of the people who even paid half-price or more for their subscriptions - stopped subscribing!! At this rate, soon the LA Times have to pay people to read it!


The first figure below shows the decline of the daily circulation in subscribers who pay 50% or more for their subscriptions for the LA Times, and the second figure shows the overall decline. But... the prevous number given for the weekly decline by the LA Times was... 6.5% and not 7.7%. Will check into this.

Los Angeles Times -12.9 (-7.7)


Editor and Publisher got back to me about the dueling figures for LA Times daily subscription numbers within - minutes! - and will check out the differences between the numbers. Journalism at its best!!


These appear to be raw figures for the overall weekday circulation for the LA TImes:

In March 2004 the Times in the official "fas-fax" listed its daily circ as: 983,727

But in the latest fas-fax, it's figure for the previous March had been reduced to 970,802 (after taking that offical "reduction")

Its March 2005 number is: 907,997

Hence the difference between the 6.5% and the 7.7%. Now as far as the percentage reduction in people who pay 50% or more, since those numbers would not be 'reduced' (one would asume) since they are actually paying customers and not 'bogus' circulation, the 12.9% drop in those numbers would appear not to be affected. But will have more on this tomorrow.


IrishKelly said...

That is almost 13% in six months. If that rate continued, in one year the Times would lose over 25% of its fully or partially paid subscribers.


Anonymous said...

Is there a way for them to track people migrating from hardcopy to internet. I read the LA Times on the internet a few times a week. I would probably buy it occasionaly if it wasn't available, but it is much easier to read it on the computer then have it disappear then to throw it out later.

richard10934 said...

What I'd really like to know is both the profile of those who have discontinued their subscriptions (liberal v conservative, young v old, male v female) as well as the profile of remaining subscribers.

Brady Westwater said...

The problem is... the number of subscribers is dropping so rapidly, there may not be enough time left to do a survey.


Mike K said...

I was a subscriber from 1956 until 2003 when I became so disgusted with Scheer and the editorial bias that I quit. When I called to cancel, the girl who took the call mentioned that she was getting a lot of such calls that week. We both laughed about it. I resubscribed last fall when I got solicited for a dollar-a-week rate. It was football season and I signed up for 6 months. A couple of months ago, I got so disgusted again I cancelled even though, as the telephone person noted, I still was paid up for another two months. They are determined to ram their hostile left wing views down the reader's throat. I read the Sunday NY Times and the Register. The latter is good on local news; better than the LA Times is. I don't agree with Bush and the Republicans all the time. I just want to see reasoned arguments and the news pieces uncontaminated by editorial bias. The letters page, to which I contributed literally hyundreds of unprinted items, reflects their target reader opinion. They very rarely print an opposing letter and, if they do, it is the only one of four or five. One would think they are in no trouble to read the letters page. There are only 300,000 registered Republicans in Los Angeles. The subscribers they are losing are Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Michael Kinsley's latest column dismisses the cri de coeur over the (general) decline in news readership.

He's certainly done his part in contributing to the fall.

Unreadable editorial and op-ed pages. He was a great magazine editor - at least at the New Republic - but his talents don't appear to transfer over to newspapers.

He's a very smart and talented guy but the "smart aleck" approach gets tiring after awhile. A little more substance and a little less sneer would we welcomed.


Anonymous said...

Can you think of any other industry that writes off more than half of its potential customers -- let's call them non-liberals -- before even leaving the starting gate? No wonder it and such other newspapers as the SF Chronicle are rocketing toward oblivion.

Uli Kunkel said...

Came here from a link at kausfiles, and I can see why Kevin Roderick/L.A. Observed closed his comments section down; nothing but the usual aggrieved Repubs who laughably despise and obsess over the LAT.

I think the comments here should be a lesson to newspaper editors everywhere: there is no point in trying to pander to people who are congenitally hostile to journalism. If you doubt the press panders to the Right, read Now They Tell Us.

bob said...

The right is not hostile to journalism. We would just like to see more of it practiced in our major mainstream media outlets. From the Sixties on, it has been quite apparent that most folks practicing journalism in the MSM have no comprehension of conservative points of view and no intellectual curiosity in trying to learn more about them. Finally, we know that it's just not going to happen, so we're denying them our hard-earned cash.

Anonymous said...

I too will be stopping my copy of the L.A. Times. I realize the comments here are for political and reasoning issues. However, I am sad that the book section does not announce author signings anymore, the TV. guide was stopped and Saturday AM TV. schedule is never posted. I know they are small issues but it bothers me!