Well, the new circulation numbers are out and the Miami Herald took it on the chin in a rather stunning way.
While the average circulation at the nation's daily newspapers (with 50,000-plus subscribers) was down an average of 7 percent, the Miami Herald more than doubled that decline, falling 15.8 percent to 202,122. Sunday papers were down an average of 5.3 percent; the Herald fell a whopping 13.1 percent, to 270,166.
To put those numbers in perspective, in 2004 the paper had a Sunday circulation of about 450,000 in 2004. Another interesting number: In 1950, the Sunday circulation was 202,000, according to Wikipedia. We're getting closer. Of course, newspaper circulation has been stagnant for many years. In 1963, for instance, the Herald's circulation was 322,500 and in 1973 it had climbed to 404,846.
How's that for a stark picture of the dwindling industry? Of course, a lot of those readers have gone over to the Web, but ad revenues simply aren't picking up the slack. Hence mass exoduses (exodi) like the one we saw Friday.
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This is just not good news in any way for anybody working in South Florida journalism.
The Sun-Sentinel's numbers weren't readily available, but here's what Editor & Publisher reported about that company:
Tribune Co. papers rolled out highly touted redesigns in this period, but lost readers. The Chicago Tribune lost 7.4% of its daily circulation to 501,202 and 4.5% on Sunday to 858,256 copies. Circulation plunged at the Los Angeles Times at 6.5% of its daily circulation (Monday through Friday) to 723,181 copies. Sunday was down 7.4% to 1,019,388.
Here's the E&P link. As soon as I get the Sun-Sentinel numbers I'll share them here.