Rumors are that circulation will be down again at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
One of those sources tells us that the AJC will beat the pack — and record a 5 percent drop in Sunday circulation. No word yet on what the daily numbers will show.
The newspaper industry has long been in a cycle of decimating news staffs — as the AJC did recently, pushing senior staffers (as in those who know shit from Shinola) out the door. The quality of the papers plunges, and then publishers scratch their heads and wonder why droves of readers are refusing to read the daily rags.
Expect the AJC to acknowledge any circulation losses, but gloss them with sophistry about online readership.
It’s not just the AJC, it’s most newspapers. Editor and Publisher says:
According to industry sources, overall daily circulation for the six months ending March 2007 is expected to sink approximately 2.5% while Sunday will drop around 3.0%.
I don’t agree with Sugg’s conclusion that poor quality is causing the continued drop in circulation. I attribute it to two factors: 1) more people enjoy getting their news online and that trend will continue and 2) approval of the press in general is even lower than approval of Congress of the President (and that’s pretty low).