Read the memo: LA Times celebrates its circulation numbers

bill-nagel-lat.jpgThe news item that Mark Lacter commented on earlier at LA Biz Observed is that the Los Angeles Times posted a small circulation increase in today's stats. The picture given by the numbers is hazier than ever now because newspapers are allowed to count some digital users, but not all, and the Times' numbers include the Spanish-language publication Hoy. The print number alone for the daily paper is actually down to 489,514, says Lacter — the business side used to scoff at suggestions that it might ever fall below one million. Still, today's reported increase was the largest for the paper in a decade, per the memo from the LAT's Executive Vice President, Business Services. The LA Times continues to have the fourth-highest daily circulation in the country.

From: Nagel, Bill
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 08:09 AM
To: AllLosAngelesTimesEmployees
Subject: Circulation Update
Colleagues: Twice a year, newspapers report their circulation results to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). This morning the ABC released circulation results for the six months ending March 2012. The Times reported total circulation of 616,575 Daily and 952,761 Sunday for this period, an increase of 1.9% Daily and 0.4% Sunday compared to last year. Our Daily circulation results, which now reflect inclusion of Hoy, showed The Times’ largest reported increase in more than a decade. Our total Sunday circulation was up for the third consecutive ABC Statement and reached the highest level reported since September 2009. Much of our performance was driven by demand for our digital products, especially apps on Android and Apple platforms. Electronic circulation has grown to approximately 100,000 copies Daily and Sunday, and now represents 16% of Daily and 11% of Sunday circulation. Over the past several months, we have refined our marketing efforts to highlight the value of The Times. These efforts include launching a comprehensive membership program and pay-based access to latimes.com. As Kathy Thomson recently announced, this membership program is off to a great start with strong customer acceptance and thousands of new digital-only members. While ABC’s reports don’t provide a complete picture of readership, they do illustrate the evolution of consumer media consumption and our integrated media product strategy. Our March numbers reflect the initiatives we’ve undertaken to reinforce the value of our print products and expand our digital offerings. These are results in which we can all take pride. Bill Nagel

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