The Press-Register’s latest ownership statements show the newspaper is continuing to bleed subscribers four years after moving to a thrice-weekly publishing schedule.
According to the P-R’s Statement of Ownership, published earlier this month, average paid circulation for its Friday edition has sunk to 23,041 — that’s down 15 percent from last year. The edition closest to the Statement of Ownership’s publication was just 20,700. The statement did not list numbers for Sunday circulation, which is typically the paper’s largest.
These latest numbers paint a picture of a continued spiral that began even before Newhouse Publishing decided to cut printing schedules for all of its newspapers nationwide. The Press-Register had a high point of Sunday circulation at 120,000 papers, but even by the end of 2012 that had fallen to 93,000 on Sundays and 76,000 on Fridays.
By the end of 2015, the P-R’s Sunday circulation was listed at 78,643 and Friday’s at 56,666. So Friday circulation appears to have fallen 60 percent in the past three years. A similar decline in Sunday circulation would put the paper at just over 30,000.
The Birmingham News has also seen a sharp decline in circulation, despite the fact that most of the news production and coverage on al.com has shifted focus to the Iron City. The News’ Statement of Ownership listed a Friday circulation of 35,545 — down 18 percent from this time last year.
Publication of the Statement of Ownership is required for newspapers that hold a publications class permit from the U.S. Postal Service. The numbers are entirely self-reported, but providing false information on the statement is a federal crime.
The advent of sports betting in the casinos along the Mississippi Gulf Coast has Mobile’s best-known oddsmaker working a little overtime on the radio.
Every Wednesday during the college football season, Danny Sheridan can be heard at 4:20 p.m on WWL radio in New Orleans, which broadcasts live from the Beau Rivage from 3-7 p.m. He’s also doing a live call-in with Mobile’s Randy Kennedy and WNSP every Thursday. Kennedy broadcasts from the Beau Rivage every Thursday.
Sheridan is an internationally known oddsmaker and former columnist for USA Today, among other things.
Farewell to a newsman
My first job out of college was at The Mississippi Press, Pascagoula’s daily newspaper. And my boss there was editor Gary Holland.
I can honestly say Gary probably altered the trajectory of my professional life more than anyone else, and I wouldn’t be part of running Lagniappe if it weren’t for him. I may not even have stayed in journalism.
For whatever reason, Gary allowed me to start writing columns at the ripe old age of 23, and he also allowed me to delve into investigative reporting. Both remain great loves of mine. Along the way we had some fun, even when he made me take an electrocuted squirrel up to the First Baptist Church for the preacher to hold for a front-page photo. (Long story.) He was also an amazing boss who (I hope) rubbed off on me in that department.
Gary passed away Monday morning, but he will always be remembered by the citizens of Jackson County as a great editor and a greater man.