Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Redesigns Don't Appear to Move Single-Copy Needle for Tribune Papers in New Circ Numbers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Redesigns Don't Appear to Move Single-Copy Needle for Tribune Papers in New Circ Numbers

Article excerpt

The chain-wide redesigns ordered by Tribune Co. in the late summer and fall appear to have done little to halt, let alone reverse, a slide in daily circulation.

Tribune Co. dailies, which are concentrated in big cities, all reported declines in circulation -- just as did nearly every metro newspaper under any ownership.

Boosting single-copy sales was one of the goals of the redesigns, which were also intended to use less newsprint, change the editorial/ad ratio to 50-50, and to require fewer people to process pages.

Daily circulation fell 7.4% year-over-year to 501,202 at the Chicago Tribune, which introduced a redesign in September, and converted its single-copy sales edition to a tabloid in January. A Chicago Tribune spokesperson did not immediately respond to a question about the effect, if any, the tabloid edition had on single-copy sales.

The paper instead pointed to the performance of the diverse product portfolio in its Chicago Tribune Media Group, which includes the free-distribution dailies RedEye, aimed at a young commuter audience, and Hoy, a Spanish-language paper, plus a high school paper TheMash, the hyperlocal reverse-published Trib Local editions and Fin de Semana, a Spanish-language total market coverage product. Total distribution including the paid Tribune was flat weekdays at 787,000 copies, grew 4% on weekends to 1.3 million, the Tribune said.

At the Orlando Sentinel, single copy sales declined while home delivery remained strong, according to a manager who said he was not authorized to talk about circ results. …

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