Boston Globe Buries The Lede On Circulation Plunge

Actually, the local broadsheet incinerated the lede in this piece on its latest circulation figures:

The nonprofit organization that audits newspaper circulation yesterday released figures based on a new measurement system that aims to capture a broader spectrum of readers — including those using certain digital products — and provide more transparency to advertisers.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations reported that The Boston Globe’s average daily circulation in the six months ending March 31 was 219,214, while the paper’s Sunday circulation was 356,652. Daily circulation for The Boston Herald averaged 123,811, and its Sunday circulation, 87,296, in the new methodology.

Nowhere did the Globe piece put those numbers in context. But the ever-reliable Dan Kennedy of Media Nation did:

The Globe’s paid Sunday circulation for the six-month period ending on March 31, 2011, was 356,652, down 22,297, or 5.9 percent, over the six-month period ending on March 31, 2010. The Monday-through-Friday picture was similar: 219,214 in the most recent reporting period, down 13,218, or 5.7 percent.

There you go. Not the knee-buckling declines the Globe has experienced in the past few years, but declines nonetheless.

The Boston Herald, to its credit, may have buried the story in The Ticker business briefs, but it did report the numbers:

Globe, Herald see print declines

Daily print circulation at the Globe dropped 10 percent — to 214,274 — over the six months ending March 31 while the Herald saw a 7.5 percent decline to 123,811 readers.

Then again, the numbers don’t agree (the Herald has the Globe at 214,274 weekdays, down 10% while the Globe says it’s 219,214, down 5.7%).

But why get technical about it?

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2 Responses to Boston Globe Buries The Lede On Circulation Plunge

  1. Dan Kennedy says:

    I was curious to see why the Herald had a different (lower) Monday-through-Friday circulation number for the Globe than I did. It looks like the Herald decided to count “digital replica” circulation but not “digital non-replica.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I think “digital replica” pertains to the PDFs you can buy at NewsStand, whereas “digital non-replica” refers to paid services like GlobeReader. Since ABC gives you a handy-dandy overall-paid-circulation number that includes print, replica and non-replica, it looks to me like the Herald deliberately subtracted the non-replica number, thus putting itself at odds with ABC. I mean, why do math if you don’t have to? I have no idea why anyone at One Herald Square would think GlobeReader numbers are not worthy of being counted as paid circulation. For the record, it’s how we at Media Nation read the weekday Globe.

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