Daily circulation for Sun-Times and its affiliated publications rises 11.1 percent
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org October 30, 2012 11:28AM
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:36PM
Daily circulation for the Chicago Sun-Times and its affiliated suburban publications rose 11.1 percent from a year ago, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported Tuesday.
The increase helped secure the Sun-Times’ rank as the ninth-largest newspaper group in the United States.
At the Chicago Tribune, daily circulation fell 3.2 percent from last year. The paper, laboring under a slow emergence from bankruptcy and a likely candidate for a sale, is the 11th-largest U.S. newspaper, according to the audit bureau’s figures.
Its data show an average sales figure for the six months ending Sept. 30, compared with the same period from 2011.
In the report, the Sun-Times publications have an average daily circulation of 432,455, vs. 389,352 a year ago. The audit bureau’s rules allow the Sun-Times to report the results from all its branded editions as one enterprise.
Wrapports LLC owns the Sun-Times as well as six suburban dailies, the thrice-weekly Naperville Sun and the Pioneer Press chain of weeklies.
For the Chicago Sun-Times only, daily circulation averaged 263,292 copies, including 70,932 sales of digital editions, up 11.4 percent from the prior year.
At the Chicago Tribune, the six-month circulation average of 411,960 compared with 425,370 a year ago. The Tribune reports no separate sales from branded editions.
In print editions, the Tribune outsells the Sun-Times proper by a 2-to-1 ratio. But in digital editions, the Sun-Times has a 3-to-1 advantage.
A similar trend applied to sales of Sunday editions. Sales of all Sun-Times editions were 408,677, vs. 400,506 a year ago, an increase of 2 percent.
The Chicago Tribune had a Sunday decline of 1.9 percent, to 766,561 from 781,128 a year ago.
“We are pleased to have demonstrated positive growth in our second consecutive circulation report,” said Sun-Times Publisher Timothy Knight, chief executive officer of Wrapports. “Sun-Times Media’s digital-first approach and editorial team leadership have led to the strengthening of the Sun-Times’ core reporting in addition to the development of winning new product lines that are successfully attracting new audiences.”
The audit bureau allows newspapers to report circulation from digital editions provided that access is restricted to paying customers. The editions can be in multiple formats, such as tablets, smartphone apps, e-readers or metered web sites.
Of the three largest newspapers, all national in scope, two reported daily circulation gains. The Wall Street Journal had a 9.4 percent increase in average sales to 2,293,798 digital and print copies, while the New York Times had a 40.3 percent increase to 1,613,865.
USA Today had a 3.9 percent circulation decline to 1,713,833.
The audit bureau said that on average, daily circulation for 613 U.S. newspapers declined 0.2 percent from a year ago. It also said the proportion of sales from digital formats increased to 15.3 percent from 9.8 percent in 2011.