Newspaper Deathwatch

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As a wise pundit recently pointed out somewhere – it’s not that so many people keep voluntarily cancelling their subscriptions. It’s just that paid subscriptions expire when the readers do. Newspapers are now a commodity for old people, and the clock is ticking for newspapers and their readers.

Here is how the major newspapers have fared with paid subscriptions over the last year:

— The New York Times lost more than 150,000 copies on Sunday. Circulation on that day fell a whopping 9.2% to 1,476,400. The paper’s daily circulation declined 3.8% to 1,077,256.

— 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. At USA Today, circulation inched up 0.27%* to 2,284,219.

— The New York Post lost over 3% daily and more than 8% on Sunday.

— Daily circulation at The Orange County Register plunged 11.9% to 250,724 and Sunday fell 5.3% to 311,982.

— 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.

Also Top 25 Sunday Newspapers here – all in decline. John Hazelhurst from the Colo. Springs Business Journal pointed out these facts from Editor and Publisher’s other recent news –

– The core audience of daily newspapers consists of adults 50 and older. Between 2003 and 2007, 8.4 million Americans in that age range died.

– in the large metro areas alone, as many as 1.4 million of the 2.35 million newly dead were daily newspaper readers.

Now they’re gone and not coming back.

7:20 pm on May 6, 2008