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Sunday Papers Remain Engaging, In Smaller Numbers

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The National Readership Survey has found that Sunday newspaper readers spend an average 70 minutes with their pile of dead tree. The FT.com paints this as evidence “the Sunday newspaper is in better shape than circulation numbers alone would suggest” amid the digital maelstrom because daily papers only command 40 minutes of readers’ attention a day. But it’s precisely because they are two different measurements that the NRS data fails to paint the whole picture. Sunday circulation fell 2.4 percent year-on-year according to the ABC, against a smaller 1.5 percent decline for dailies. NRS MD Roger Pratt says Sundays “are still delivering enviable levels of engagement with their readers” but that’s just because people have more time on a Sunday – if there are fewer readers engaging, how much does the engagement metric matter at all?