Pennsylvania paper gains subscribers after Patriot-News reduces print frequency

Editor George Spohr says “new circulation starts have been incredible” at The (Carlisle, Pa.) Sentinel since The (Harrisburg, Pa.) Patriot-News reduced print frequency this month.

Spohr sent this picture of new sub orders and a note: “This is what happens when your competition goes to three days per week.”

Seventy-six people subscribed Monday and more than 100 did Tuesday, Spohr wrote in an email to Poynter.

Spohr says Sentinel circulation director Phil Ferrara told him on a usual day, 10 people start subscriptions.

Figures from the Alliance for Audited Media show The Sentinel has an average Sunday circulation of 13,902 and an average circulation of 12,838 Monday-Saturday. The Patriot-News has an average Sunday circulation of 118,655 and average daily circulation of 70,446.

Spohr says the Sentinel has been “expanding our coverage to cater to displaced readers,” adding arts coverage — including a review from a critic laid off by the Patriot-News — and print pages.

The Sentinel previously announced a partnership with Harrisburg TV station WHTM to help it compete with The Patriot-News.

In an email to Poynter, Patriot-News boss John Kirkpatrick says, “it is way too early to tell how this will play out for us or for folks like Carlisle related to circulation.”

In New Orleans, a Baton Rouge newspaper announced circulation gains after Patriot-News corporate sibling The Times-Picayune went to a reduced print schedule. A Times-Picayune business manager later said the paper’s circulation has risen since the change.

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