Better renew your subscription before it is too late.
Print newspaper circulation continues dropping with the top three- the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle - reporting a 6 percet drop. Of the top 20 papers, according to figures the Audit Bureau of Circulations released Monday, only four show a tiny increase.
So what is to blame? Is it the marketing obstacles resutling from the do-not-call rules? Perhaps the shift to online readers is responsible? Or is print just not up to par with other media?
USA Today remains the top seller with a .05 percent increase in the past six months. The Wall Street Journal saw a .8 percent decline in their paid circulation.
Luckily for newspapers their profits come from advertising.
The federal do-not-call regulations put into effect in 2004 are partially at fault. In 2000, telemarketing accounted for 43.4 percent of all newspaper circulation according to an NAA study with that number declining to 30.9 last year.
But controversy is also in the mix. Several major newspapers have been dealing with circulation overstatement scandals. This has led to publishers being more cautious as to counting circulation in order to avoid more backlash from advertisers. That and they don't want to be censured by the Audit Bureau like the Dallas Morning News or Chicago Sun-Times.
In order to reach a younger audience more likely to be found online, many newspapers have increased investments towards their web sites. For some this includes free editions or foreign language editions.
Attempting to keep up with readers and advertising dollars, major newspapers are spending the big bugs to acquire online companies (Dow Jones bought MarketWatch Inc, New York Times bought About.com).
In the meantime, publishers are spending more to find subscribers more likely to be around long-term. This includes the recent movement towards automatic credit card payments for a renewal.