standard-times

Providence Journal circulation continues to slide

October 28th, 2014 at 9:41 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence Journal’s print circulation continued to slide over the last six months, while online readership continued to grow, new data released Tuesday shows. Local papers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island also reported lower sales.

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Providence Journal Sunday circulation drops below 100,000

May 1st, 2014 at 9:55 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Projo_e-editionThe Providence Journal’s Sunday sales have fallen below 100,000 for the first time, new data shows.

The paper’s print circulation was 96,656 on Sundays during the six months ended March 31, down by 12,860 or almost 12% from the same period last year, the Alliance for Audited Media reported Thursday. The advertising-heavy Sunday paper is the most lucrative edition of the week for most publications.

The Journal also sold an average of 72,023 traditional print editions on weekdays between Oct. 1 and March 31, a decrease of 7,221 or 9% since March 2013.

The Journal said its total average circulation on Thursdays was 235,539 when print and digital “branded editions” are added, which would include its free ProjoExpress publication, an increase of almost 5%. The audit group changed its rules in 2011 to count those.

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Projo’s circulation down more than 11% on Sundays this year

October 31st, 2013 at 9:10 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Projo_e-editionThe Providence Journal’s newspaper sales dipped 11.7% on Sundays during the six months ended Sept. 30.

The paper’s Sunday print circulation was 104,010, down 13,774 from the same period last year, the Alliance for Audited Media reported Thursday. Sunday is the most lucrative edition of the week for most papers.

The Journal also sold an average of 76,447 traditional print editions on weekdays between April 1 and Sept. 30, a decrease of 7,286 since September 2012.

The Journal said its total average weekly circulation was 106,605 when “branded editions” are added, which would include its free ProjoExpress publication. The audit group changed its rules in 2011 to count those.

Saturday print circulation fell by 12,034 copies – from 106,775 to 94,741 – as of Sept. 30, the group said.

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Murdoch sells Standard-Times; GateHouse to manage it

September 3rd, 2013 at 6:31 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has sold its Dow Jones Local Media Group – which owns 33 publications including the New Bedford Standard-Times, the Cape Cod Times and The Inquirer and Mirror of Nantucket – and handed over their management to GateHouse Media Inc.

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Projo’s Sunday circulation slumps 10%; owner loses $8M

April 30th, 2013 at 8:41 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Projo_Sunday_circ_3-31-2013The Providence Journal’s Sunday print circulation fell 10% during the six months ended March 31, figures released Tuesday showed, as the newspaper’s parent company reported a first-quarter loss of $8 million.

The Journal’s print circulation on Sundays – the most lucrative edition of the week for most papers – totaled 109,516 copies, down by 12,763 since March 2012, the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations) reported Tuesday morning.

The Projo sold an average of 79,244 traditional print editions on weekdays between Oct. 1 and March 31, a decrease of 6,252 from a year earlier and 45% fewer than in September 2007.

Saturday circulation dipped below 100,000 for the first time, falling by 10,484 to 98,651. Weekday circulation fell below 100,000 for the first time in 2010. The overall pace of circulation loss has slowed since 2009-10, when the annual rate of decline on Sundays peaked at 17%.

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Projo’s print circulation down another 7%; e-editions at 4,224

October 30th, 2012 at 12:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The Providence Journal’s print circulation fell 7% during the six months ended Sept. 30 as subscriptions to its new electronic edition rose past 4,000.

The Journal sold an average of 83,733 traditional print copies on weekdays between April 1 and Sept. 30, a decrease of 6,352 from the same period a year earlier, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported Tuesday.

The Journal said its total average weekly circulation was 114,303 when “branded editions” are included, which would include its free ProjoExpress publication. The Audit Bureau changed its rules in 2011 to count those.

The Projo’s print circulation on Sundays – the most lucrative edition of the week for most papers – totaled 117,784 copies, a drop of 11,240 since the September 2011 report. Saturday circulation fell by 9,117 copies, from 115,892 to 106,775.

ProvidenceJournal.com had 1.2 million unique visitors as of March 31, up from 868,693 in the six months ended March 31 and matching the audience for the old Projo.com a year ago, the Audit Bureau said.

The Journal reported 4,224 subscriptions to its e-edition, broken out as 1,398 on weekdays, 1,411 on Saturdays and 1,415 on Sundays.

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Projo’s print circulation down another 7%; fewer visit website

May 1st, 2012 at 8:55 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The Providence Journal’s print circulation fell almost 7% during the six months ended March 31 as it sold fewer than 300 subscriptions to its new electronic edition.

The Journal sold an average of 85,496 traditional print copies on weekdays between Oct. 1 and March 31, a decrease of 6,311 from the same period a year earlier, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported Tuesday.

The Journal said its total average weekly circulation was 114,013 when “branded editions” are included, which would include its free ProjoExpress publication. The Audit Bureau changed its rules in 2011 to count those.

The Projo’s print circulation on Sundays - the most lucrative edition of the week for most papers – totaled 122,279 copies, a drop of 8,380 since the March 2011 report. Saturday circulation fell by 7,676 copies, from 116,811 to 109,135.

ProvidenceJournal.com had 868,693 unique visitors as of March 31, down from 1.2 million for the old Projo.com in the six months ended Sept. 30, the Audit Bureau said. That echoes other estimates showing traffic down by about a third.

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Far-flung Murdoch empire extends to Southern New England

July 13th, 2011 at 1:23 pm by under Nesi's Notes

As fallout continues from the British phone-hacking scandal that’s engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., you may be surprised to learn there are local media outlets with a stake in the outcome.

The latest salvo in the fast-moving saga was fired Tuesday, when U.S. Sen. Jay Rockfeller called on federal regulators to investigate whether News Corp. broke any U.S. laws by allegedly hacking into the voicemails of 9/11 victims’ families. Now the company is abandoning a long-sought satellite TV takeover.

News Corp. is best known as the owner of Fox News, 20th Century Fox and the New York Post. But it also owns a group of local newspapers acquired when Murdoch bought The Wall Street Journal’s parent company back in 2007. They include the New Bedford Standard-Times, the Cape Cod Times, the Barnstable Patriot and The Advocate of Fairhaven.

At the time of the sale, there was talk that the division (then known as the Ottaway Newspapers Group, since renamed Dow Jones Local Media Group) would be sold off to a firm more focused on local publications like GateHouse. But four years later, they’re still part of the News Corp. empire.

Murdoch’s only local television station is Fox 25 in Boston, WFXT-TV. (Our Fox Providence station, WNAC-TV, is an affiliate of News Corp.’s Fox network, but it isn’t owned by the company. The same goes for WPRI 12′s relationship with CBS.) News Corp. is also a part owner of Hulu, as is local firm Providence Equity Partners. Murdoch owned the Boston Herald from 1982 to 1994, too.

It’s hard to see how U.S. legal action would actually impact Murdoch’s local holdings, but I’d imagine their newsrooms are still keeping an eye on what’s happening. The Columbia Journalism Review has a full list of News Corp.’s current holdings here.

Update: The Poynter Institute’s Rick Edmonds argues the unfolding scandal “will surface a host of standing business objections to how the company has been run,” including its overexposure to the beleaguered newspaper business. “So pressure may mount to sell some of the newspaper holdings, at least those in England,” Edmonds writes.


Another local Murdoch paper puts up a paywall

November 23rd, 2010 at 8:00 am by under General Talk

Another one of the local newspapers controlled by News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch has pulled up the gates around its content online.

The Cape Cod Times put its CapeCodOnline.com site behind a paywall two weeks ago, following in the footsteps of its sister paper, The Standard-Times of New Bedford, which made the same move last January. Murdoch acquired both papers when he bought Dow Jones & Co. in 2007 to win control of its crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal.

At CapeCodOnline you can view up to 10 “articles, videos and galleries” per month for free – three without registering and seven more if you sign up. Then you hit the paywall.

The pricing is a little byzantine. If you subscribe to the print edition, full access to the website costs an additional $20.28 per year. For non-print-subscribers, the options range from $128.96 annually for the e-edition and 10 monthly pageviews up to $178.88 for unlimited access to the Web and mobile versions of CapeCodOnline.

“More and more people are turning to the Web to read their news and information,” Peter Meyer, president of the Cape Cod Media Group, said when he announced the new policy. “We need to monetize that in some fashion and this seems like the best way.”

One Nesi’s Notes reader who has already hit Meyer’s wall sent along this screenshot after he unhappily realized he’d wasted one of his 10 free monthly views on a story that turned out to be only two sentences long:

That actually points to one of the problems that paywalls cause for publishers – it forces readers to think hard every time they click on a story. (“Do I want to waste one of my allotted views on this?”) The paywall gets in the way of the story, and creates anxiety for the reader.

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N.B. Standard-Times pleased with paywall

September 20th, 2010 at 10:47 am by under General Talk

Nine months after it began requiring readers to pay to read more than 10 stories online per month, the New Bedford Standard-Times is pleased with the results so far, publisher Mary Harrington tells me.

The Standard-Times, which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation acquired as part of its 2007 takeover of Dow Jones & Co., charges new subscribers $175 per year for full access to its SouthCoastToday.com – about $10 more than for the print edition. A combination print-online subscription costs $185 per year.

While working on this post about the Projo’s paywall plans, I e-mailed Harrington to ask how the Standard-Times’ experiment with online subscriptions was going. Here’s what she had to say:

TN: It’s now been just about 9 months since SouthCoastToday.com switched from an entirely free site to a metered model. How is it working? How many people have subscribed to the online version? Have you seen a significant drop-off in traffic to the site?

MH: We can state with confidence that charging for content online under our model has had a positive impact on South Coast Media. This strategy has proven itself instrumental in our effort to grow circulation revenue. On specific numbers, we will be relying on the Audit Bureau of Circulations reporting process to share those details. We can say, as expected, traffic is down. What’s important is that our digital strategy now aligns with our overall business strategy and is helping drive revenue.

TN: As a non-subscriber but occasional reader of SouthCoastToday stories, I’ve been surprised to find I still haven’t hit my limit in terms of the number of stories I can read for free per month. I haven’t kept close track, but is the limit still 10 articles per month, or has that been tweaked?

MH: Registered users continue to have access to up to 10 metered stories. There are some stories, though, that are not metered; these include wire stories, stories that involve critical information about a situation that threatens life or property (so hurricane threat reporting was not metered, for example), and stories by some of our non-daily products, which include the New England Business Bulletin.

While The Wall Street Journal has been charging online readers for years, the January launch of the S-T’s paywall kicked off a yearlong push by News Corp. to get more readers paying for Web access to its news content. (Nor is it the only local daily to go down that route; the Newport Daily News has been charging $345 per year for an online subscription since June 2009.)

Another of News Corp.’s papers, The Times of London, blocked non-subscribers (and Google) starting in July, with its U.K. tabloid, the News of the World, soon to follow. Bloomberg News had details in a story last week:

[Rupert's son] James Murdoch’s plan to charge for online access to U.K. tabloid News of the World shows he’s extending his paywall model even as advertisers flee websites of two of his other newspapers where Internet readers have to pay.

News of the World, which this month featured a video of boxer Ricky Hatton purportedly snorting cocaine and published an interview with a prostitute who said she had sex with Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney while his wife was pregnant, will seek payment from Web readers from next month. The move follows Murdoch-controlled News Corp.’s July push to get London papers The Times and The Sunday Times into the online-pay arena.

With more people getting their news from the Internet, newspapers are increasingly charging for online access to make up for lost revenue from print advertising. Murdoch’s strategy to put all stories of his U.K. newspapers behind an online paywall differs from the approach of some other newspapers such as the Financial Times which first gives access to some stories online before it starts charging.