Published on September 8, 2008
Section Green Report / Media
Newspapers are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Average daily circulations are down at most of the nation’s top 25 papers including The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and LA Times. The 3.6% decline “represents sales of around 50 million, the lowest level since 1949 when newspapers moved 50.9 million copies”. Good news for the trees; bad news for our brains. The only exceptions are the two largest national dailies, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, which have enjoyed modest increases.
Falling circs are old news. Newspaper sales have been on the skids since the 80s. However, the magnitude of recent declines have been surprising and the ensuing staff cutbacks painful. “48.7% of the 102,120 jobs eliminated in the newspaper industry since 1990 were lost in the last three years”. A staggering statistic with no end in sight. Timothy Egan of the New York Times observes: “Last week, almost 1,000 jobs were eliminated in the American newspaper industry, perhaps the bloodiest week yet of a year where many papers are fighting for their lives. You read about the great names — the Baltimore Sun, the Boston Globe, the San Jose Mercury News — as if reading the obituary page. Rich cities like San Francisco can no longer support a profitable daily paper.” Continue Reading / See Additional Photos