Sunday, November 06, 2011
The Latest Circulation Numbers for Lee Enterprises, Inc. and the Post-Star
14th in a series by contributor Mark Wilson
(©2011 Mark Wilson)
The semi-annual report of American newspaper paid circulation was released this week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Readership of Lee Enterprises, Inc. daily newspapers continues to drop, with total circulation loss from a year ago at 41,298 (or 2.99 percent).
The Post-Star, which in recent years has suffered some of the worst percentage circulation losses of all Lee newspapers, improved its standing among its peers in the latest filing. The paper—still fourteenth largest in Lee’s stable with average daily circulation of 26,113—lost 665 paying readers since last year. That loss amounted to less than 2.5% of its circulation, which is better than Lee’s average percentage loss since last year, and better than the numbers the Post-Star posted six months ago. A complete breakdown of the latest circulation figures can be found here.
Since the last circulation numbers came out, Lee has combined two Illinois dailies—the Journal Gazette of Mattoon and the Times Courier of Charleston — reducing to 52 the number of daily newspapers owned or partially owned by the company. Since 2008 Lee has shuttered two papers and merged two others. The Davenport, Iowa-based company is still looking to restructure a roughly one billion dollar debt that comes due in just over five months.
On a personal note: Friday, November 4th was Mark Mahoney’s last day as the Post-Star’s Editorial Page Editor, and chief editorial opinion writer. He will soon put his legendary reasoning and writing skills to work for the New York State Bar Association in Albany. As a onetime contributor to Mark’s pages (and who, on at least one occasion, caused him all sorts of grief), I wish him all the best in his new career.