Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Only on Sunday? Newspaper Industry Study Finds Reader Loyalty Waning on Weekdays

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Only on Sunday? Newspaper Industry Study Finds Reader Loyalty Waning on Weekdays

Article excerpt

Many Americans say their local daily paper is a fair, accurate and believable news source used by people they respect -- but if it stopped publishing during the week they wouldn't miss it.

A major industry study -- more of which will be released at the Newspaper Association of America convention in Chicago starting April 27 -- finds that people increasingly look on the daily newspaper as a once a week thing.

"The Sunday paper tends to be a blockbuster." said John Bartomoleo, a principal of Clark, Martire & Bartomoleo Inc., which prepared the study for NAA and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Bartomoleo and other industry figures discussed some of the results at ASNE's recent annual convention in Washington, D.C. The biggest result is the increasing evidence that the public is concentrating its newspaper reading on the Sunday paper.

For instance, while about seven of 10 U.S. adults read the paper on an average Sunday, just six of 10 read a daily paper during an average weekday

And it is only the Sunday paper that commands reader loyalty, the survey found.

While the survey indicated the Sunday paper would be the news medium most missed if it were no longer around, the weekday paper would be the news medium least missed.

"As much as we may not want to discuss it, the fact is more readers would miss their local TV news program than their weekday paper," said Jennie Rae Buckner, editor the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer.

The survey of 3,000 people uncovered public attitudes about newspapers that amount to double-edged swords. …

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