Cover of ABC’s FAS-FAX report.

Monday’s Audit Bureau of Circulations FAS-FAX report on circulation in the past year wasn’t all doom and gloom for the newspaper industry.

Yes, the Chronicle reported big losses (down 11.2% on weekdays to 223,549 and 7.9% on Sunday to 282,290).

But the Bay Area News Group made the best of things by combining the circulation of its Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and San Mateo County Times into one set of figures — 528,537 on Sundays and 477,595 on weekdays. BANG says its combined Sunday circulation is up 2/10ths of one percent, or 1,076 copies. Monday-Friday circulation is down 3.1%.

There are other bright spots in the ABC report:

    • The Marin IJ saw a 4.3% increase on Sundays (to 30,040) and a 1.8% gain M-F (to 27,027). 
    • The Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Sunday circulation is up 13% to 24,126 and its weekday number has jumped 11.8% to 23,465. 
    • And The Reporter in Vacaville, a community hard-hit by the recession, is seeing a rebound in its circulation. The Reporter says its Sunday circulation is 17,604, a 2/10ths of a percent increase over last year at this time. It’s weekday numbers are also up by the same percentage, to 17,248.

Newpapers losing ground included:

    • The Herald in Monterey (down 2.9% on Sunday to 27,604 and down 4.0% M-F to 25,179); 
    • Napa Register (down 0.8% on Sundays to 13,805 and down 1% M-F to 13,992);
    • The Santa Rosa Press Democrat (down 6.1% on Sundays to 64,286 and down 7.3% M-F to 59,557).
Bay Area Media News


  1. I wonder if advertisers are buying the claim that the Merc now includes the Contra Costa Times and San Mateo County Times. What does a Daly City reader of the SMCT or any reader in Contra Costa County have in common with the San Jose market?

  2. I know of one independently owned South Bay WEEKLY community newspaper that has seen circulation increase to 40,000 papers per week, with readership over 100,000.

  3. Wait a second. The Chronicle's circ has taken a massive dive? What about the Internet edition? Gee, wasn't paid online material going to be a godsend? Guess not.

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