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U-T San Diego Circulation Drops 5 Percent In Last Year

Newspaper no longer one of top 25 U.S. dailies

Aired 11/1/12 on KPBS News.

U-T San Diego has fallen out of the top 25 national daily newspapers, according to new numbers released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

U-T San Diego has fallen out of the top 25 national daily newspapers, according to new numbers released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The paper lost 17,000 readers on its Sunday's paper alone in the past year.

The paper’s average circulation on Sunday dropped from 368,723 one year ago to 351,682, a decline of nearly 5 percent. The decrease contradicts comments U-T San Diego owner and hotel developer Doug Manchester made two weeks ago that circulation was up.

But U-T CEO John Lynch said there is no contradiction.

In a statement, Lynch said that readership was declining at a greater rate before Manchester bought the paper a year ago. He said the paper’s redesign, the launch of a paid digital model in July and its multi-platform approach have proven a hit with readers.

"As a result, our circulation is surging and should be well above in next year's measurement," Lynch said.

Some readers have expressed anger at the new ownership’s front-page editorials and what's perceived as promoting a conservative agenda. The Poynter Institute’s media and business analyst Rick Edmonds said that perception is unlikely the only reason for the paper’s readership decline.

“As time goes on, most of the people get their news from digital and they may not take the paper at all," Edmonds said.


Avatar for user 'Oceanside'

Oceanside | October 30, 2012 at 8:16 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Last Sunday was the last delivery of my subscription to UT. I will not be renewing. Have been checking out Wall Street Journal and New York Times for a few Sundays now. I can buy these with my coffee at Starbucks 1st thing in the morning, and this has become my new Sunday morning routine. Nice.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 30, 2012 at 8:53 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Headline should read, "Douglas Manchester Confirmed Liar".

Hey Papa Fibber, are you going to report your declining readership in your own "news"paper??

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Avatar for user 'cujo2007'

cujo2007 | October 31, 2012 at 1:07 a.m. ― 3 years ago

I call the UT Usless Trash

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Avatar for user 'dedehmsw'

dedehmsw | October 31, 2012 at 9:01 a.m. ― 3 years ago

We have tried to cancel our paper for two months since it is NOT a NEWSpaper but only a vehicle for the Lynch-Manchester agenda. Interestingly they have not refunded our money nor stopped delivery in spite of 3 calls and the acknowledgement that we are done. Is this how they lie about the circulation numbers? Yes, this paper makes me paranoid. What a travesty for a city of this size.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | October 31, 2012 at 11:39 a.m. ― 3 years ago

"I bought a second subscription." -- CDM

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Avatar for user 'gnach'

gnach | October 31, 2012 at 4:14 p.m. ― 3 years ago

After 30 years we dropped this rag. Putting up with the Copley's politics was tolerable, you knew where they stood but they didn't beat you over the head. we also knew "Bowtie" Bob Kiddle (sp?) would spew the RNC talking points BUT Manchester has taken the "Onion" to new lows of partisanship. He obviously doesn't need my subscription. So now we read the LA Times, a REAL 'paper, and get the local news from KPBS. And we do miss Gloria.

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Avatar for user 'radiofree'

radiofree | October 31, 2012 at 9:51 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Did Manchester want to dumb down to the initials UT because he did not want Union in the name? So we get to fill in the initials ourselves. I was going with Utterly Tedious for Manchester's propaganda sheet but I think I will change my vote to cujo's Useless Trash.

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | November 1, 2012 at 12:29 p.m. ― 3 years ago

@MissionAccomplished. Did you buy a second parrot and need to line the cage?

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Avatar for user 'Esperer'

Esperer | November 1, 2012 at 1:04 p.m. ― 3 years ago

My subscription ran out the middle of September and I'm still getting the paper. I wonder if I'm still counted as a subscriber.

I'll subscribe again when it becomes a real newspaper and not Doug Manchester's Twitter Feed.

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Avatar for user 'sparmely'

sparmely | November 1, 2012 at 2:21 p.m. ― 3 years ago

I finally cancelled my subscription today. Hurray!

FYI: The UT is running a "fundraiser" for organizations like schools. The school recruits at least 150 new people to pay FIVE CENTS for a Wed-Sun YEAR SUBSCRIPTION and the UT will donate $10 per new subscription to the organization. They are literally paying people to subscribe so they can get their numbers up.

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Avatar for user 'sdkelly'

sdkelly | November 2, 2012 at 9:39 a.m. ― 3 years ago

The decision was simple... i voted with my dollars when DM bought the UT because i knew where he was going with it. The money that would have gone to Mr. Manchester now goes to KPBS.

I feel no need to pay to get his personal message and slant; if he wants my resources for that he needs to pay me instead.

Sadly, i do miss the paper in hand and the handy plastic bags but the paper has to be worthy and i can buy my own plastic bags. If he ever gets bored with his new toy and sells it to someone that restores it to something more reasonable i will reconsider, but i don't think there will be a 'paper' to subscribe to by then.

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Avatar for user 'tompen'

tompen | November 3, 2012 at 1:45 p.m. ― 3 years ago

I canceled my subscription three weeks after the takeover. A friend has tried to cancel her subscription for two weeks and hasn't been able to do so. they continue to deliver it.

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