DNT publisher clarifies circulation figures posted on a blog

The blog Perfect Duluth Day posted today the News Tribune’s Monday through Saturday circulation numbers, and newspaper publisher Ken Browall explained the recent decline and said the figures only tell part of the story.

The blog posted the DNT’s Statement of Ownership, a document that every newspaper or periodical must file with the U.S. Postal Service. The graph states that circulation at the DNT fell from 38,753 in 2008 to 33,268 in 2009.

Browall said the 14 percent decline in circulation reflects a newspaper decision in January 2008 to reduce the daily circluation area and not a decline in subscriptions, which he said dipped only 3 percent in the last year.

"In January ’08, we made a conscious decision to discontinue delivery in some of the outlying areas and that brought circulation down," Browall said of areas such as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and near the Canadian border. "We are seeing that cycle through."

The graph also showed, however, that circulation was declining before the decision to shrink the circulation area.

Browall said readership is a more important measure than solely print circulation. According to DNT figures, a daily average of 101,000 readers peruse the newspaper’s print edition and Web site, with a Sunday average of about 156,000. 

"Readership is the measure that our advertisers use to see if it’s a valuable proposition to advertise with us," Browall said. "You really have to look at the two. That is really significant and growing."

4 thoughts on “DNT publisher clarifies circulation figures posted on a blog

  1. Ken- Aren’t you proud? Look at all of the wonderful commentary online at the DNT Declining circulation? Nothing to see here. This coming from Ken, the failed circulation director. I call BS on the web stats. Maybe Ken is part of the DCB community that claims 1 MILLION unique visits (whatever that means)

  2. I know several people who have discontinued their subscription to the DNT and switched to home delivery of the Minneapolis Star, more news, more sports, and cheaper price. The DNT is overpriced for the little bit of news it contains.

  3. The DNT is a shell of what it once was, I’m sad to say.

    From sports to local news the amount of coverage has shrunk, considerably. Of course a smaller news staff has something to do with that I’m sure.

    Where I live, they refuse to deliver anymore except on Sunday. I subscribe by mail, but often I wonder why.

  4. The Duluth News Tribune, and newspapers in general, are suffering from and are in a death spiral. We used to get the news paper daily (7 days per week). I remember coming in with the newspaper some weekdays and joking with my wife that it was so thin that the wind must have blown half of it away. Sadly it just got thinner and thinner each day. Sunday is still large….but largely due to the ads, not so much the news. There were weekdays that I literally spent less than five minutes reading everything that was of interest to me in the paper. I haven’t even read the comics for years. A number of years ago they took a few of the ones I actually read out of the paper in the name of “political correctness” You know, the ones like Beetle Bailey, Hagger the Horrible etc… I think they have added Beetle Baily back now, but it’s far to late for me. The daily printed paper is no longer a morning habit for me and I’m just fine with that. I bring the laptop computer to the breakfast table and in 15 minutes I’m up to the minute on all the important world and local news.

    I remember when we used to get the daily paper a few years ago I’d read some little newsy thing and think to myself that I’d read that three days ago on one web site or another.

    I actually feel bad for the printed newspapers. It’s an outdated model they have and without drastic changes they aren’t going to be around very long in their persent form. The world is moving fast and if they cling on to the old business model it ain’t gonna be good for them.

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