The Wall Street Journal remains the nation's top newspaper with more than 2 million in average daily circulation according to the latest industry numbers.
The News Corp-owned Journal topped Gannett's USA Today and the flagship paper of the New York Times Co and was one of the few big newspapers that managed to increase its daily circulation -- almost 2 percent -- for the six-month period ending in September.
While circulation declines moderated industry-wide, it still pointed to a worrisome trend as people increasingly turn to the Internet and other outlets for their news.
Daily circulation for newspapers tracked by the Audit Bureau of Circulations fell 5 percent, while Sunday circulation was down about 4 percent.
"(It) is not good news, no matter how you cut it," Benchmark Co analyst Edward Atorino said, noting that circulation impacts some advertising rates.
Some of the largest newspapers in the United States have lost a significant amount of daily circulation. The Los Angeles Times' circulation fell almost 9 percent to 600,000 copies. The San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle both lost 11 percent of daily circulation.
Some of the fall-off was related to price increases of single-copy and home-delivery subscriptions.
"What we are seeing right now are newspapers making strategic decisions," said John Murray, vice president of audience development at the Newspaper Association of America. "One of those has been to price more aggressively and rely more on the reader for revenue."
Of the top 25 newspapers, A.H. Belo's Dallas Morning News eked out a 0.2 percent gain in average daily copies sold.
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