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Latest Newspaper Circulations Reports: Both Sun-Times & Chicago Tribune Up Slightly

The latest circulation figures for Chicago's two largest newspapers came out this week, which show that both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune saw increases. Both papers also moved up one number in their national ranking, but that was more due to the drop out of a San Jose newspaper from the rankings than because of any small Chicago newspaper increases. According to these new numbers, the Sun-Times remains the #1 Chicago newspaper and #8 in the country, while the Tribune is still #2 for Chicago and #10 nationwide.

The report this week comes from the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

According to the new report, the Chicago Sun-Times and all of its suburban newspapers combined, as well as all of those newspaper's digital/website subscriptions, showed a total average circulation of 470,548 for the six month period ending on March 31, 2013. That is a circulation increase of 38,093 since the end of the last six month survey period (September 2012), and an increase of 48,768 from the figures from last March -- an 11.6% increase.

The Chicago Tribune (not counting its suburban newspapers), combined along with its digital subscriptions had an average daily circulation of 414,930 for the six month period ending on March 31, 2013. That number is well above its low number of 411,960 six months ago, and just barely above (0.1%) its number from the end of March last year, which was 414,590.

Both the Sun-Times and the Tribune followed the national trend of seeing shrinking print circulation numbers, but saw decent increases in their digital subscription numbers to more than make up for the loss in print.

In comparing just print editions of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Tribune is well ahead with an average circulation of 368,145 as opposed to the Sun-Times' 184,801. Where the Sun-Times outshines the Tribune is with digital subscriptions, boasting an online circulation of 77,660, compared to the Tribune's 46,785.

Nationwide, the Top 10 newspapers ranked by circulation now are:
1. Wall Street Journal
2. New York Times
3. USA Today
4. Los Angeles Times
5. New York Daily News
6. New York Post
7. Washington Post
8. Chicago Sun-Times
9. Denver Post
10. The Chicago Tribune

For Sunday newspapers, the Chicago Tribune is still the king locally. The average Sunday circulation for the Chicago Tribune was up to 781,324 -- a circulation increase of 1,884 over last March's numbers, and a 14,763 increase over the low numbers from six months ago. Nationally, that ranks the Sunday Tribune as #5. The Chicago Sun-Times' average Sunday circulation was 406,094 -- a decrease of 2,583 over last September's circulation numbers and a bigger decrease of 28,478 over the March 2012 numbers. Nationally, the Sunday Sun-Times ranks at #19.

With newspaper circulation numbers, it is difficult to fairly compare one newspaper with another. This is due to the uneven way newspaper corporations are allowed to report their numbers. Some may count suburban newspapers and other periodicals that carry the main newspaper's brand as part of their circulation numbers, while others will not. Some newspapers will count those readers who have both a print and digital subscription twice, while others will only count those readers once. It is no longer a simple "apples-to-apples" comparison process.

The Alliance for Audited Media is a not-for-profit, independent organization that provides accurate audits of print circulation, readership and website activity for the newspaper industry for the benefit of advertisers.

The entire AAM report featuring the semi-annual circulation numbers for the top newspapers in America can be seen HERE.

CRM Website Information

The Chicagoland Radio & Media website (abbreviated as CRM) is a celebration of all things relating to Chicago-area media matters. CRM is a news source, a location for fans to voice their opinions, and an online museum of Chicago media's past and present, with a hopeful eye to its future. For the visitors, readers, and fans of the website, CRM is a both a resource and a release, both educational and an escape, and both factual and fun.

If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!