Nov 9, 2012

The walking unread: newspaper circulation continues long decline

The latest circulation figures -- complicated by digital subscriptions -- contain more bad news for newspapers, particularly in the Fairfax stable. But which paper bucked the trend?

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

Fairfax’sĀ metropolitan newspapers suffered demoralising print circulation declines in the September quarter, with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald both posting double digit year-on-year drops.

News Limited papers fared better, but that company’s unwillingness to follow Fairfax’s lead and strip back on “marginal” sales to airports, schools and hotels helped prop up its figures.

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7 thoughts on “The walking unread: newspaper circulation continues long decline

  1. Lwin Sein

    AFR is fudging it. The digital product is free to print subs. So it looks like the print has fallen from about 76k in a year and the de-duped (singular) digital subs are also down from it seems about 9000 to somewhere around 4000. In fact it looks a bit like the new Screaming Lord Stutch brand of paper is not a hot property. Is all happening on his watch, and not helped by the Clegg lovefest with Packer and mates.

  2. Pete from Sydney

    always wondered this…do you at Crikey think if I pick up a free copy of the Australian at the Airport that I won’t read it? Because I do, and most people around me seem to be reading their copy too…

  3. Peter Shute

    Fairfax really needs someone clever to define it’s role. Watering down the brand product to News Ltd level will not work. No wonder the quality hacks are taking redundancy when offered.

  4. Edward James

    For me if dead trees papers nationally, are too lazy to run comment boxes on line , where I can see my comments on their journalist work produce on line quickly and with replies from other readers . Then it is clear to their financiers they are withdrawing themselves from the main stream media MSM. Media is now live and engaged with readers in real time if you guys including can’t keep up you will die on the media vine! Edward James 0243419140 5 04

  5. Eric Kent

    Today’s AFR page one lead is the smoking gun. A story – nay, THE story of the day, asserts in its headline a split in the government over nuclear subs (a policy which they did not have, but which Saturday’s AFR atributed to “top” Libs who remain unnnamed).
    The evidence for this split is a comment by Joel Fitzgibbon, alone. Joel Fitzgibbon!
    So if anyone asks: who killed the AFR? You can say: Mr Stutchbury and the Packeresque Clegg.

  6. Edward James

    Tuesdays papers are ignoring the work product of the Newcastle Herald which with local support from victims has resulted in a Federal Royal Commission. Edward James

  7. Eric Kent

    @Edward James: That would be the very profitable Newcastle Herald where the genius Corbett/Hywood team has slashed the editorial staff?
    I knew Corbett was hung up on religion but it missed the zealotry angle!

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