Monday, May 08, 2006

Newspapers are screwed

For real this time.

This is from Drudge:

Circulation for Top 20 Newspapers in USA
Mon May 08 2006 08:55:53 ET

Here it is. The paid weekday circulation of the nation's 20 largest newspapers for the six-month period ending March 31, 2006.

1. USA Today, 2,272,815, up 0.09 percent
2. The Wall Street Journal, 2,049,786, down 1 percent
3. The New York Times, 1,142,464, up 0.5 percent
4. Los Angeles Times, 851,832, down 5.4 percent
5. The Washington Post, 724,242, down 3.7 percent
6. New York Daily News, 708,477, down 3.7 percent
7. New York Post, 673,379, down 0.7 percent
8. Chicago Tribune, 579,079, up 0.9 percent
9. Houston Chronicle, 513,387, down 3.6 percent
10. The Arizona Republic, 438,722, down 2.1 percent
11. Newsday, Long Island, 427,771, down 2.7 percent
12. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 398,329, up 0.9 percent
13. San Francisco Chronicle, 398,246, down 15.6 percent
14. The Boston Globe, 397,288, down 8.5 percent
15. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 365,011, down 6.7 percent
16. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 362,964, down 2.9 percent
17. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 350,457, down 5.1 percent
18. Detroit Free Press, 345,861, up 0.04 percent
19. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 343,163, down 1.6 percent
20. St. Petersburg Times, Florida, 323,031, down 4.4 percent

I think it's very revealing that the Chronicle is down 16%, given its location. No one I know in the SF area reads newspapers anymore, we just have RSS feeds to our favorite news sites. Some of them are newspapers, including SFGate (the chronicle's online presence), but they would get a fraction of the ad revenue from us viewing their site than buying the paper.

But the real truth isn't that newspapers are going away because of the internet in general. They're going away because we can go to better news sources on the internet. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal online. It's great, and I've happily paid them $75 a year or whatever for the subscription. I would never pay the same for the Chronicle. With the exception of Tim Goodman's column and the occasional in-depth reporting on the Barry Bonds scandal, the Chronicle is filled with other people's news. They get their articles from the AP newswire or New York Times, whatever. Why would I pay for that when I read exactly the same article on Google News? I'd rather pay for a newspaper that does awesome reporting -- like the Wall Street Journal.

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