ABC: Newspaper circulation falls 2.6% as more readers turn to the Internet

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New York—More bad news for the newspaper industry: Average weekly circulation at U.S. newspapers fell 2.6% in the six-month period ended in September, according to a report released on Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Sunday circulation fell 3.1%

ABC's Fas-Fax report said that 18 of the top 20 newspapers reported weekday circulation losses, with especially sharp declines at the San Francisco Chronicle (-17%) and Boston Globe (-8%). It was a mixed bag for newspapers that carry a large volume of b-to-b advertising: Circulation for The Wall Street Journal fell 1%, to about 2 million, while circulation for The New York Times was up 0.5%, to 1.1 million.

The continuing readership decline at newspapers comes as more people get their news from the Web. About 30% of adults turned to the Internet for news in 2004, compared with almost none in 1996, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

—Matthew Schwartz

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