Despite the usual attempts to spin the numbers, the quarterly newspaper circulation figures for March were not good, no matter how much the industry tries to blame them on soft retailing conditions or floods or bad weather. The Audit Bureau figures, released overnight, showed a 4% fall in newspaper sales in the March, 2011 quarter from a year ago.

There was a 6% fall in newspaper insert magazines (such as Wish in The Australian and Good Weekend in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald). And there was a 4.9% fall in newspaper TV magazine inserts in the quarter, from a year.