March 14, 2008

E&P’s Top 20 Papers: In Past Four Years, Three Doing Well; 17 Declining, Most Steeply

Ken Shepherd of NewsBusters posted Tuesday on Editor and Publisher’s March 11 article listing the four-year circulation changes at the nation’s top 20 newspapers, concentrating on the 20% loss at the Los Angeles Times during that period.

What’s also compelling is that the Top 20 really has three winners and 17 losers during that four-year time frame:


Though its print circulation has declined slightly, I consider the Wall Street Journal a winner because it has more than made up for its small loss in print circulation with hundreds of thousands of new paid online-only subscribers. In fact, the WSJ had 931,000 online subscribers in Spring of 2007, according to Wikipedia (in turn supported by this May 2007 Journal column). I’m not able to determine how many of them are online only, but if only 9% them are, the Journal has had a net gain in its paid subscriber base.

What do the three winners — USA Today, the Journal, and the New York Post — have in common? Paraphrasing esteemed economist Walter Williams (example here), if you said “Those papers are reasonably fair and balanced,” go to the head of the class.

Although readers may disagree in a couple of instances, it’s safe to say that “fair and balanced” is not the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of any of the other 15 — or for that matter, the two publications (Dallas Morning News and Newsday) whose 2003 figures weren’t used by E&P because of those publications’ involvement in that year’s circulation-padding scandal.

I believe that a large portion of the reason why the 15 publications listed above collectively lost 1 in 8 print subscribers during the four years shown is that they have long since stopped playing the news straight, and have been caught frequently in the act of not playing it straight. It has happened enough times, and with little if any signs of change or improvement, that many readers have simply said, “Who needs ‘em?”

What’s more, but not shown above — If you compare the circ losses at the 15 losers during the past four years to their losses during the last 2-1/2 years — losses that were detailed by yours truly last fall (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) — you’ll find that five of them (New York Times, New York Daily News, Washington Post, Arizona Republic, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution) had bigger losses during the last 2-1/2 years than they did during the entire four years. This means that these papers actually increased their circulation during the first 18 months of the four-year period before falling even more steeply that it would appear from the above chart.

So being fair and balanced pays, while not being so is expensive. When will the other 17 publications catch on to this concept?

Cross-posted at


THE RAW DATA: For future reference — It’s posted here for fair use and discussion purposes, and for reference, since E&P links aren’t permanent.

Source: Editor & Publisher (HT Patterico via NewsBusters)

PAPER — Daily (M-F) Sept. ’07 – Copies, Gained/Lost Since Sept. 03– % Change

USA Today — 2,293,137 — +46,141 — +2.1%
The Wall Street Journal — 2,011,882 — (-79,180) — (-3.8%)
The New York Times — 1,037,828 — (-80,737) — (-7.2%)
Los Angeles Times* — 794,705 — (-201,133) — (-20.2%)
New York Daily News — 681,415 — (-47,709) — (-6.5%)

New York Post — 667,119 — +14,693 — +2.3%
The Washington Post — 635,087 — (-97,785) — (-13.3%)
Chicago Tribune — 559,404 — (-54,105) — (-8.8%)
Houston Chronicle* — 502,631 — (-50,387) — (-9.1%)
Newsday — 387,503 — NA

The Arizona Republic*, Phoenix — 385,214 — (-47,070) — (-10.9%)
The Dallas Morning News — 373,586 — NA
San Francisco Chronicle — 365,234 — (-147,406) — (-28.8%)
The Boston Globe — 360,695 — (-89,843) — (-19.9%)
The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. — 353,003 — (-55,669) — (-13.6%)

The Philadelphia Inquirer — 338,049 — (-38,444) — (-10.2%)
Star Tribune*, Minneapolis — 341,645 — (-38,709) — (-10.2%)
The Plain Dealer*, Cleveland — 332,894 — (-32,394) — (-8.9%)
Detroit Free Press — 320,125 — (-32,589) — (-9.2%)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 318,350 — (-64,071) — (-16.8%)

* Daily average is Monday-Saturday.

T-Shirt Ted Strickland, Echoing Conservative Talking Points, Is Thinking about Voting with His Feet

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:36 pm

UPDATE, 10:00 p.m.: Ask and ye shall receive — Straight out of the backroom of the sweatshop at Weapons of Mass Discussion, the no-frills item on the left is the latest in T-Shirt Tedwear.

UPDATE, March, 15, 5:15 p.m.: Justin at Right on the Right’s mock-up is, well, right on the right. At Weapons of Mass Discussion, the no-frills item on the left is the latest in T-Shirt Tedwear.

T-shirtTed T-shirtTedJHRR


Roy Cooklis at the Cincinnati Enquirer (HT The Daily Bellwether) quotes Buckeye State Governor Ted Strickland engaging in a bit of wanderlust:

I don’t know in fact what I’ll do after my first term. I don’t know if I’ll go for a second term or get a T-shirt shop in Key West, Fla. Unless I commit an impeachable offense, I’m going to be Ohio’s governor for the next nearly three years.”

The Daily Bellwether’s Bill Sloat asks:

Why Key West, guv? Why not Kelleys Island in your own state’s summer playground?

Allow me to explain, Bill, in eight words: Ohio has an income tax. Florida does not.

Climate is just a bonus (yeah, I know, so are six-inch cockroaches).

In sunny Key West, Ted will avoid income taxes on the pension I believe he’s entitled to as a long-time psychologist/social worker at the Lucasville prison. More important, he will avoid income taxes on the pretty substantial pension he’ll receive for his 12 years or so in Congress.

T-Shirt Ted (hmmm…. I think that nickname’s going to come in handy; artwork welcome) is just telling us that he plans to do what thousands of Ohioans, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have done over the past few decades, but at an accelerating rate since sometime during the mid-1990s, when Congress stopped states like Ohio from going after out-of-state pensioners for income taxes on pension benefits (the twisted “logic” was that the benefit should be subject to Ohio taxation because that benefit was based on work performed in Ohio). The acceleration has continued because Ohio’s politicians (GOP and Dems) have almost always decided that raising income and other taxes, and not controlling spending, would solve the state’s fiscal issues.

At first glance, it appears that Governor Strickland is choosing a “third way” this time around. He won’t raise taxes (there’s little blood left in that turnip anyway). He won’t take a serious look at structural spending control. Instead, he’s just going to have the state borrow $1.7 billion. Then even more Ohioans migrate to other states, perhaps with Ted among their number, it will be up to the unfortunate Ohioans who remain to deal with repaying it.

But wait a minute: In that just-linked State of the State speech, Strickland committed that $1.7 billion to items not budgeted, i.e., new spending. Unless I’m missing something, that means that nobody has proposed a solution to the still-looming projected shortfall of $733 million-$1.9 billion (though, for what it’s worth, so far in this fiscal year the state is about $150 million ahead of where it thought it would be at this point; go to the OBM web site for details as of the end of February).

So now what? Raise taxes after all (heaven knows where)? Seriously cut spending (that’s usually a missing chip in the Democratic gene pool)? Borrow even more?

As long as this nonsense continues, more and more Ohioans will be doing what T-Shirt Ted seems to be considering after 2010: Becoming ex-Ohioans.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (031408)

As you can see from the comments (starting here) at this BizzyBlog post from December 2006, yours truly was on to the idea that the house of worship frequented by the candidate I refer to as BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) might come back to haunt him:

….. The better question is how the beliefs described here ….. might affect the ability of Obama to be president of all of the people:

Exactly what is *the Black Value System*?

I suspect that if the candidate I refer to as JS3M3 (John Sidney the Mad Maverick McCain III), or the one I refer to as HR4C (Hillary Rodham Cackling Crying Complaining Clinton) attended a church that placed importance of “The White Value System,” that they might have faced difficult questions and marginalization about 15 minutes after they announced their respective candidacies.

15 MONTHS later, a lazy Old Media that didn’t do its homework is finding that the pastor of this church is about as unhinged as one can possibly be.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Old Media does the candidates it instinctively likes and the party it is obviously partial to no favors when it fails, as it clearly has in this case, to subject them to the level of scrutiny routinely exercised on the candidates and the party they’re predisposed not to like. The truth often catches up at a very inconvenient time. This is one of them.

So now, 15 months and 26 primary victories later, the Democratic rank and file gets info about its leading candidate it should have had early last year. Many who have already voted for him, if they’re honest with themselves, will consider what’s involved a dealbreaker and get a case of buyer’s remorse. But many of Obama’s year-long fans, with so much already invested, will find themselves contorting themselves to the breaking point trying to excuse this (Update: Example here).

What happens if the party collectively has buyer’s remorse and, as it clearly has given itself the right to do, reverses the expressed will (uninformed yes, but expressed nevertheless) of millions of its members?

Oh, and a memo to Rush: This info about Obama could have, and would have, waited another few months. Your keeping Hillary alive hastened its arrival. Though it’s too early to be certain, it’s becoming pretty clear that Obama would be the weaker general election candidate. What if, because you kept Hillary’s campaign on life support when it could have been over on March 4, she becomes the nominee instead?


The BBC gets nailed claiming, with “pictures,” that a slain terrorist’s home was bulldozed by Israeli authorities, when it was still standing (HT Michelle Malkin).


Disgraceful comment of the day:

Show me a rich and powerful man between the ages of 35 and 60 who has never paid an escort for sex, and I will show you a man who is a very rare exception.

Apparently “Ruth Henderson” needs to get away from New York City. I doubt that what she claims is true even inside Gotham.


This would be in the “too good to check” category, but given the ultimate source, I have no doubt that it’s true (HT Michelle Malkin).

It’s from Eamon Kelley, a soldier who spent four hours in front of the Marine recruiting office in Berkeley that Code Pink, Berkeley city fathers, et al have under siege:

“While we were at the protest in Berkeley from 12 to 4 PM a white volvo drove by and a man spat upon code pink. They chased him down the street and got into a verbal altercation. The police were NO WHERE in sight. That’s not the best part, ready for this? Medea Benjamin yelled and I quote “Marines!” she actually yelled for our help because this man had stepped out of his car. Lol. I even asked her if she was yelling Police and she told me “I said Marines” then put her arm around my friend Allen (the Marine vet) Ironic?

Medea Benjamin is a co-founder of Code Pink.

Positivity: Couples Renew Marriage Vows At Loyalton Of Lakewood — During 57th Year of Marriage

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Lakewood, NY:


Friends and family recently gathered together at Loyalton of Lakewood to witness five couples renew their wedding vows. The couples all reside at Loyalton and include Ted and Marilyn Ricketts, Jack and Ina Laird, Bill and Edna Ruch, Bill and Norma Barnes and Gene and Pepper Nocero.

The ceremony was officiated by Majors William and Kathleen Bentley of the Salvation Army. Music was provided by Brian Bogey. Each couple walked down the aisle and one by one took their vows. After the ceremony there was the traditional cutting of the cake and pictures.

The couples are an inspiration to everyone. They all contribute their longevity in marriage to really liking each other, never holding a grudge, always making big decisions together, respect and true love.

….. The couple will celebrate their 57th anniversary this year. When asked what it takes to make a good marriage, they replied, ‘‘You should have a lot in common and really know each other, also a sense of humor helps.”

John Laird was born on Nov. 12, 1914, and attended school in Corry. He joined the service and served during World War II. Ina was born Nov. 24, 1924, and attended school in Sugar Grove. Ina joined the service and was a surgical technician in the Air Force and received her LPN certification while there.

John (Jack) and Ina met at AeroSupply in Corry, where Jack was actually Ina’s boss. After three years of getting to know each other, they decided they should get married. A private ceremony was held on May 7, 1949, in the town of Mayville. The couple honeymooned in Texas where Jack had accepted employment.

The Lairds raised a family of six and moved back to the Jamestown area where Jack worked at Marlin Rockwell and Ina at the hospital. The couple now has 15 grandchildren.

When asked what makes a good marriage, Jack said, ‘‘We were just lucky enough to pick each other and able to get along all these years.” The couple also urged others not to take marriage lightly — ‘‘ know each other and raising a family is very important.’’

Go here for the rest of the story.