The Audit Bureau of Circulations this week announced figures for the six-month period ending Sept. 30, and the year-over-year drop in average weekday print circulation among 379 U.S. daily newspapers was 10.6 percent. That's not strictly due to people simply walking away from print. Over that year, the incentives to subscribe changed, in some cases through price increases and distribution pullbacks. But it's ugly just the same.
So what happened in Seattle? It's difficult, though not impossible, to say.
A year ago we had two daily printed newspapers, and today we have one. Complicating matters, we don't know how many people a year ago subscribed to both The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which now publishes online-only as SeattlePI.com.
But here's what we know for sure: Today's Seattle Times average weekday circulation of 263,588 is, by my calculations, 52,085 less — 16.4 percent less — than the 316,673 combined circulation of both papers a year ago.