- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2000

The nation's daily newspapers posted mostly significant increases in circulation for the latest auditing period, the six months that ended March 31.

The Washington Times posted a 2.15 percent increase to a weekday circulation of 100,091, averaged over the past six months, up from 97,985 a year ago.

The latest actual weekday figure, averaged over the five days ending March 31, is 111,706.

The Saturday circulation is up nearly 17 percent to 77,779.

"Readers are discovering that The Washington Times is News Central," said Wesley Pruden, editor in chief of The Times. "They're discovering that The Times is the place to find information often not available anywhere else the news plain and unadorned with media bias or politically correct commentary. No gilt, no guilt, no bull, no holy cows. Just the news, and commentary kept separate from the news and clearly labeled as opinion. We're gratified that readers, often overwhelmed by blather, trivia and unwanted media sermons, are coming to The Washington Times."

Among the nation's largest newspapers, the Los Angeles Times posted the biggest gain, climbing 5 percent in weekday circulation to 1,153,706, edging ahead of The New York Times as the third-largest paper in the country. The New York Times rose 1.3 percent to 1,149,576. The Washington Post, the nation's fifth-largest newspaper, posted a gain of 0.4 percent, up to 812,559.

Total weekday circulation edged up 0.2 percent among the nearly 800 newspapers reporting to the Audit Bureau, according to an analysis of the data by the Newspaper Association of America, an industry trade group. Sunday circulation slipped 0.6 percent.

Eight of the 10 largest papers in the country had circulation gains. The exceptions are the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune. The top two spots on the list continued to be occupied by USA Today, at 1,837,802, and the Wall Street Journal at 1,812,590. Both were up 1.1 percent over the same six-month period a year ago.

Dow Jones & Co., publishers of the Journal, argues that the Journal is still the largest newspaper "paid for by readers." Thousands of copies of USA Today are distributed free to readers at airports and to guests in hotel rooms.

Two newspapers locked in a fierce circulation war, Denver's Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post, showed dramatic gains. The News posted an average daily circulation of 446,465, up 25.4 percent, and the Post rose 11.7 percent to 413,730.

Sunday circulation continued to be troubling in the industry, with overall circulation slipping 0.6 percent, and only one-third of the 601 reporting newspapers showing gains in Sunday circulation.

Most smaller newspapers showed slight declines. Those with circulation between 100,000 and 249,999 fell 0.01 percent, and those between 50,000 and 99,999 fell 0.8 percent.

• Donna De Marco contributed to this report.

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