On Tuesday, the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly ABC) will announce circulation totals for American newspapers, as it has done in regular six-month cycles for as long as I can remember.
I will hazard a guess about the results, but that’s not the news this time. What’s important is that the totals — and the list of the top 25 newspapers in average daily circulation generated from them — are headed for the scrap heap.
“The total circulation numbers do not capture the full story any longer,” Neal Lulofs, executive vice president at AAM, told me in a phone interview. AAM’s board has decided to make reporting a five-day average — long the standard — optional for papers. That means come October there will be no valid comparison of daily circulation among newspapers.
John Murray, who directs audience research and training at the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), said doing away with the familiar metric makes sense. Read more