PROOF… That Newspapers and Magazines Are Lying About Circulation To Hold Onto Advertisers?

Filed under Effectiveness Of Print Media

All America’s companies who advertise know this!

Everyone in the media business knows this!

What about you?  Have you seen ANY of the stats that show how rapidly, consistently and drastically both newspapers and magazine circulation is dropping.

…and it appears that those drops haven’t missed a month of decline since 1992.

A quick search on your favorite Online search engine will shows how many people are turning away from your local newspaper and getting their news Online instead.

…in fact, in 2 minutes and 12 seconds on Google, I was brought to the following list of media headlines from the New York Times.

This list gives you a quick peak back in time (all the way to the early 1990’s) showing how newspapers have overstated their numbers and dropped prices, to help offset the massive shrinking of their circulation.

U.S. Newspaper Circulation Falls 10% – October 2009
USA Today suffered a steep drop, losing the top spot in weekday circulation for the first time since the 1990s to The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times’ weekday circulation fell 7.3 percent.

For Magazines, the Down Days Continue – September 1, 2009
Street sales fall by 12.4 percent, but subscriptions rose, meaning that overall circulation was down by 1.2 percent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Fall in Newspaper Sales Accelerates to Pass 7% – April 28, 2009
The rate of decline in circulation at the nation’s newspapers has accelerated since last fall, with industry figures showing a more than 7 percent drop compared with the prior year.

Celebrity Magazines Post a Downturn in Sales – February 10, 2009
Defying the maxim that escapism sells in tough times, celebrity gossip magazines took a recessionary hit last year, with some experiencing double-digit declines in circulation.

Newspaper Circulation Continues to Decline Rapidly – October 28, 2008
The long decline in newspaper circulation continued to accelerate, with sales over the spring and summer falling almost 5 percent from the previous year.

Magazine Sales Fall 6.3% at Newsstands – August 12, 2008
Newsstand sales of magazines fell 6.3 percent in the first half of 2008, an industry group said Monday, as rising gas and food costs led consumers to cut back on nonessential spending.

More Readers Trading Newspapers for Web Sites – November 6, 2007
The circulation declines of American newspapers continued over the spring and summer, according to figures released Monday.

Newspaper Circulation in Steep Slide Across Nation – August 14, 2007
Despite the slide, two New York City tabloids continued to buck the trend, posting the largest gains among major papers.

Newspaper Circulation Falls SharplyOctober 31, 2006
The decline, one of the steepest on record, adds to the woes of a mature industry beset by layoffs and the possible sale of some of its flagships. 

New Way to Gauge a Publication’s AppealSeptember 4, 2006
The company that verifies the readership of print publications has created a new figure that combines print readers and Web site traffic. 

(Does that mean that newspapers are now trying to combine Online readership with their actual Offline Sales to boost their perceived readership?  Not sure… but it sure looks that way!)

A Recasting, a Staff Shuffle and a Resignation at Dwell MagazineAugust 28, 2006
As last week’s resignation of Dwell’s editor in chief showed, some changes to broaden a magazine’s appeal can have unpleasant side effects.

Newsstand Magazine Sales Fell in the First Six Months of 2006August 22, 2006
Newsstand sales of magazines fell more than 4 percent, to about 48.7 million copies. Among domestic newsweeklies, Time magazine reported the biggest drop. 

Online Newspaper Ads Gaining Ground on PrintJune 6, 2006
In the matchup between the print and online versions of newspapers, signs of the Internet’s ascendancy are growing stronger. 

U.S. Newspaper Circulation Fell 2.5% in Latest PeriodMay 9, 2006
Daily circulation of American newspapers continued to slide during the six-month period that ended in March.

Newspaper Daily Circulation Down 2.6%November 8, 2005
Newspaper circulation fell 2.6 percent in the six-month period that ended in September, more than in any comparable six-month period since 1991.

Newspapers’ Circulation Still Going DownMay 3, 2005
The newspaper industry reported a 1.9 percent drop in daily circulation, representing the largest circulation loss in more than a decade.

As Technology Transforms Music, Billboard Magazine Changes, TooApril 25, 2005
Billboard, the bible of the ever-changing music industry, has made some big changes of its own, for the first time since 1963.

Your Daily Paper, Courtesy of a SponsorJanuary 10, 2005
Newspapers are relying on home delivery of free samples, paid for by advertisers, to raise paid circulation figures.

Bureau Vows to Tighten Its Audits of CirculationNovember 12, 2004
The leaders of the Audit Bureau of Circulations outlined steps to bolster confidence in the circulation figures reported by newspapers and magazines.

Newspaper Circulation Continues to DeclineNovember 2, 2004
The losses were widespread, with two-thirds of papers reporting flat or declining circulation. 

Publisher Weighs Sale of YM as Advertising SlipsSeptember 23, 2004
Gruner & Jahr Publishing USA told employees yesterday it was exploring the sale of YM, the company’s faltering teenage magazine. 

3 Newspapers Are Censured On CirculationJuly 13, 2004
Audit Bureau of Circulations punishes newspapers Chicago Sun-Times, Newsday and Hoy for breaking circulation rules as industry moves to restore confidence in its reporting practices; bureau’s board unanimously condemns deceptive and fraudulent circulation practices at three newspapers 

(Do newspapers really give their advertisers false circulation number just to keep them as clients?  That would just be horrible, but keep reading and you’ll see how many of them are confessing to pumping up their circulation numbers…) 

The Troubling Case of the Phantom ReadersJune 28, 2004
Advertising executives and Wall Street analysts question whether newspaper and magazine publishers are policing their circulation practices aggressively enough and if longstanding measures to monitor accuracy are still sufficient in an increasingly competitive climate; Newsday and Spanish-language daily Hoy, which are owned by Tribune Co, and Chicago Sun-Times, which is owned by Hollinger International, have recently acknowledged that they falsely pumped up their circulation to convey illusion o… 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Newsday Says Its Circulation Was Inflated, As Was Hoy’sJune 18, 2004
Newsday and Spanish-language daily Hoy, owned by Tribune Co, inflated circulation figures by as much as 10 percent for year ended September 2003; Newsday says it is reducing by about 40,000 copies average daily circulation of 579,729 it had reported to Audit Bureau of Circulations; says average Sunday figure it had reported, 671,819, is being reduced by about 60,000; Hoy’s average weekday and Sunday circulation figures–92,604 and 33,198–are being reduced by about 15,000 and 4,000 copies respectively…

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Newspaper Circulation Continues Overall DeclineMay 4, 2004
Analysis of reports released by Audit Bureau of Circulations shows that while majority of nation’s 10 largest newspapers reported circulation gains for six months ended in March, most others lost readers during period, continuing industry’s overall long-term decline; some of biggest gains in readership are reported by New York City’s three daily newspapers, with New York Post, New York Times and Daily News reporting gains in average weekday circulation for six months ended March 31, and Post a… 

Report Has Mixed News For PapersNovember 4, 2003
Analysis of reports from Audit Bureau of Circulations finds results mixed for nation’s daily newspapers in latest six-month circulation figures; while three major daily newspapers in New York City report daily and Sunday gains over period ended Sept 30, circulation at Washington Post declined; Los Angeles Times reports slight loss, on average, on weekdays and Saturdays, and slight gain on Sundays; Wall Street Journal and USA Today, which do not publish on weekend, report gains in daily circulation… 

Sun Reports CirculationDecember 23, 2002
New York City’s fledgling weekday newspaper New York Sun has sales confirmed by Audit Bureau of Circulations averaging just under 18,000 daily for its first six months of publication; price reduction from 50 cents to 25 cents per issue appears to be aiding growth in circulation 

Panel Set to Change Newspaper Circulation AccountingNovember 20, 2000 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Newspaper Industry Fails To Stem Circulation DropMay 4, 1999
Months of effort by nation’s newspaper publishers to rein in price increases and to promote their publications aggressively failed to stem industry’s long-term circulation decline; latest figures from Audit Bureau of Circulations show average daily circulation down five-tenths of 1 percent, while Sunday circulation dropped by 1 percent, for six months ended March 30; newspapers that showed greatest ability to buck trend were those in competitive markets or those that command national audience, … 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Paid Newspaper Circulation In U.S. Continues to DeclineNovember 3, 1998
Audit Bureau of Circulations says daily and Sunday newspaper circulation continued to decline for six months ended Sept 30; reports paid circulation was down almost 11 percent from its 1984 peak of 63.3 million readers; three of five largest newspapers in country saw circulation declines, including Wall Street Journal, whose average daily circulation dropped almost 2 percent, to 1,740,450, from 1,774,880 in period a year ago; New York Times circulation dropped to 1,066,658, down more than seven…

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Sunday Circulation Decreases At Many Big City NewspapersNovember 4, 1997
Sunday sales of newspapers are dropping at many of biggest Sunday papers; Audit Bureau of Circulations reports five of country’s eight biggest papers that publish on Sunday reported declines on weekends; three of them, Washington Post, Daily News and Chicago Tribune, show large losses in six months ended Sept 30; Daily News attributes drop in Sunday readership to price increase in April that it rolled back in September; weekday circulation results for six-month period at biggest papers are also… 

Drops in Circulation Continue for Most Big NewspapersMay 6, 1997
Figures released by Audit Bureau of Circulations show broad decline in newspaper circulation sales that began early in the decade continued for most big metropolitan dailies during winter months; of country’s 10 biggest papers, 4–USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and Newsday–registered increases; The New York Times and Daily News of New York reported circulation declines of about 4 percent; Sunday circulation also suffered at most papers; other statistics; table 

Nation’s Newspapers Report Mixed Results on CirculationNovember 1, 1996
Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for six months ended Sept 30 show country’s two big national newspapers, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, continued to build their circulation leads over metropolitan dailies, whose own figures showed growth in suburban and Sun Belt markets and stagnation elsewhere; Wall Street Journal’s sales increased 1 percent, to 1,783,532, and USA Today’s daily paper increased 4 percent, to 1,591,629, and its Sunday paper topped two million for first time; New York Times… 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Big Newspapers Report Circulation Losses Are SlowingApril 30, 1996
Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers lost circulation in the six months ended March 31 compared with the similar period a year earlier, according to nationwide figures released yesterday. But the declines were smaller than in the past for many and were offset by impressive gains by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Daily News in New York. Circulation figures are reported by the Audit Bureau of Circulations every six months and are based on statements from each publisher. 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Circulation Drops at Many Large PapersOctober 31, 1995
Continuing a recent trend, 7 of the country’s 10 largest metropolitan newspapers lost circulation in the six-month period that ended in September, according to data released yesterday. Many of the largest newspapers, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, showed declines in Monday-through-Friday average daily circulation for the period that ended on Sept. 30, compared with the corresponding period a year earlier. Those three newspapers, and many others, also… 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Circulation Drop Continues At Most Large NewspapersMay 2, 1995
Continuing a downward circulation spiral for big American newspapers, 9 of the 10 largest metropolitan dailies lost weekday circulation in the most recent reporting period, according to data released yesterday. Broad erosion of newspaper readership has been a trend for decades. But widespread new declines in circulation at big-city newspapers have created anxiety among publishers. 

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Large Newspapers Report New Falloffs in CirculationNovember 1, 1994
Nine of the 10 largest metropolitan newspapers in the country lost weekday circulation for the six months ending Sept. 30, compared with the period a year earlier, according to industry figures released yesterday. But newspaper executives and industry analysts said they felt relieved because a circulation plunge reported by many newspapers six months ago had slowed to a gradual slide. 

New York Post Figures FaultedApril 15, 1992
The New York Post overstated its circulation by 60,901, or more than 12 percent, in a report last year to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, according to the organization, which audits newspaper and magazine sales. The paper had claimed an average daily circulation of 552,227 for the six months ended Sept. 30, 1991, but the bureau has issued a revised average circulation of 491,326 for The Post during that period.

More data can be found using your favorite search engine, by typing in any phrase such as “newspaper sales decline”.