Circ still on decline at Canadian dailies

The fall 2009 newspaper circ report from the Audit Bureau of Circulation shows weekday declines for 28 of 30 pubs measured by ABC.


Circulation at Canadian dailies continues to decline according to the latest data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The report, which covers the six months ending Sept. 30, shows weekday circulation declines for all but two of the 30 publications measured by ABC.

On a somewhat encouraging note, many of the declines were modest, ranging from less than a percentage point to drops in the one to two per cent range. However, some papers saw weekday circulation dip by anywhere from 5 to 8%.

Hardest hit was Canwest’s National Post, which saw its Monday to Friday circulation plummet 20.7%, to 150,884 from 190,187 in the corresponding period a year earlier. Circulation for The Post‘s weekend edition also dropped 22.7%, to 159,862 from 206,872.

The Post‘s chief rival, The Globe and Mail, saw its weekday circulation drop 8.4%, to 301,820 from 329,504 from the corresponding period a year earlier. Circulation of the national daily’s weekend edition also dropped 5%, to 376,366 from 396,377 a year ago.

Bucking the downward trend was the Canwest-owned Gazette. The Montreal daily saw its Monday to Friday circulation increase 2.7%, to 147,668 from 143,782 in the year-ago period. Its French-language counterparts, Le Devoir and La Presse, reported Monday to Friday circulation decreases of 0.31% and 0.87% respectively.

The Canadian data reflects a downward circulation trend right across the continent. In the United States, several prominent publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, all reported circulation declines.

Today’s data doesn’t provide a wholly accurate picture of Canadian circulation trends however, since it doesn’t include data from publishing groups including Torstar and Sun Media Corp. Those companies defected from ABC to join the rival CCAB last year.