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Newspaper Fas-Fax: Newspaper Circ Decline Slows, E-Editions Up 47 Percent

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Increased interest in e-editions wasn’t enough to keep U.S. newspapers from another circ decline but it did help slow the bleeding. Circulation fell nearly 5 percent in the past year, according to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Still, it represented a sign of improvement, as the decline was cut in half from ’09’s nearly 10 percent drop.

One of the most interesting aspects is how e-paper circ has risen quickly. Last fall, 282 newspaper reported e-editions in their weekday average totaling 1,577,732. By contrast, for the same period this year, 445 newspapers reported e-editions in their weekday — totaling 2,314,815, for a roughly 47 percent increase in e-editions, according to an *ABC* rep.

WSJ tops the e-chart: In the chart of the top 25 e-editions, the WSJ was number one with 449,139. Once again, the NYT was third with 71,697, followed by Gannett’s Detroit Free Press, with 99,613, which ranked number two.

As for the total figures, the WSJ was only one of two gainers in the top 25 circ leaders. The rest all declined. But the WSJ’s circ was up only 1.82 percent, while the Dallas Morning News was essentially flat with a 0.25 percent increase. Gannett (NYSE: GCI) flagship USA Today, once at the top of the circ list, fell 3.66 percent this past year, while the NYT dropped 5.52 percent and remained right behind it.