Surprise: New York Times Circulation Plunges, Wall Street Journal Gains

05/06/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's an every-six-months ritual over at Editor & Publisher: We wake up early on a Monday morning, and receive, compute and post the latest circulation results for daily and Sunday newspapers. The process has been grim for a few years now, and worse today than ever, with 3.5% declines in daily and a 4.5% hit on Sunday looking about right in the early going, on average.

One of the biggest victims -- thanks partly to popular Web sites such as, gasp, Huffington Post! -- is the New York Times, which reports a whopping 9.2% decline on Sundays for the six-month period, and 3.8% daily.

--At the Washington Post, daily circulation decreased 3.5% to 673,180 and Sunday dropped 4.3% to 890,163.

--Meanwhile daily circulation at the Wall Street Journal grew a fraction of a percent, up 0.3% to 2,069,463 copies. USA Today experienced a similar increase. Circulation was up at the national daily .27% to 2,284,219.

--In Los Angeles, the Times lost more than 40,000 daily copies. Daily circulation there was down 5.1% to 773,884. Sunday declined 6.0% to 1,101,981.

--The New York Post, which had gained circulation for awhile (largely based on 25 cent price), fell for the second straight time, more than 3% daily and more than 8% on Sundays.

--The San Francisco Chronicle reported that daily circulation dropped 4.2% to 370,345 while Sunday dropped 3.0% to 424,603.

--The Boston Globe's daily circulation fell 8.3% to 350,605. Sunday declined 6.4% to 525,959.

--The Miami Herald reported daily circulation lost more than 11% with 240,223 copies while Sunday dropped 9% to 311,245.

--Daily circulation at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution declined 8.5% to 326,907 while Sunday fell 5.0% to 497,149.

--Daily and Sunday circulation at the Chicago Tribune both dropped 4.4% to 541,663 and 898,703 respectively. In a statement released this morning, the paper noted that it increased its readership with its other products like the free Redeye and its Web site.

--Good news in Baltimore: the Sun made a slight gain in daily circulation, up 0.1% (about 200 copies) to 232,360. Sunday circulation was down slightly 1.2% to 372,970.

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Greg Mitchell is author of the new book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq, and is editor of E&P.