Newspaper Readership Grows 2.5% in Top 100 Markets

July 22, 2008

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Newspaper readership in the top 100 markets grew to 80.6 million in spring 2008, up from 78.7 million a year earlier, or a gain of 2.5%, according to a spring 2008 Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) survey, the Newspaper National Network?LP reported.


In addition, the median household income of NNN Top 100 newspaper readers grew 4.9% from spring 2007 levels, reaching $64,861 in spring 2008, the survey found.

MRI tracks daily newspaper readership in the top 100 markets for NNN and reports the “NNN 100 Daily Code.”

The survey is the second in a row showing an increase in NNN 100 Daily newspaper readership, with the fall 2007 survey up 1.8%. Those increases are the first and second increases that the measure has shown since it was created in fall 2003.


Although daily newspaper circulation in the top 100 markets has been in decline, NNN cited several factors that may explain the readership increase:

  • Newspaper websites have shown consistent growth in unique visitors and may be drawing in new or returning print readers.
  • Publishers have cut marginal circulation, not core circulation. Those copies went to less-frequent readers.
  • Secondary readership is up, as more newspaper readers are reading copies they did not purchase themselves.
  • Free daily newspapers like Metro or am New York are appealing to new newspaper readers.

“In a challenging environment for newspaper publishers, the MRI results are welcome news,” said Jason E. Klein, president and CEO of Newspaper National Network LP.

The NNN codes were first introduced in fall 2003 to enable advertisers to more readily evaluate the broad reach provided by multi-market newspaper buys as compared with magazines.

About the data: The “NNN Top 100 Daily” code covers all daily newspapers in the top 100 DMAs, and delivers a readership of 80.6 million. The code supplements the “any daily newspaper” code with a benchmark that replicates a top 100 market buy that an advertiser can actually purchase through Newspaper National Network LP.

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