It’s a mystery

From the WSJ:

The newspaper industry, already suffering from circulation problems, could be looking at its worst numbers in more than a decade.

Circulation numbers to be released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations probably will show industrywide declines of 1% to 3%, according to people familiar with the situation — possibly the highest for daily newspapers since the industry shed 2.6% of subscribers in 1990-91.

The biggest publishers may show the largest declines: Gannett Co., which owns about 100 newspapers, says it will be down “a couple of points” from last year’s levels. Circulation at Tribune Co.’s Los Angeles Times is likely to be off in excess of 6% of its most recently reported figures. Belo Corp.’s Dallas Morning News expects to report daily circulation down 9% and Sunday circulation down 13% from the year-earlier period.

I found that last part particularly amusing, as it was the DMN that briefly signed up my UPS column, then dropped it before even running it once. I’m not saying that adding it would have helped anything at this point, but it seems reasonable to suggest that one of the various factors in this circulation fall is that white men under the age of fifty don’t read the newspaper much because the newspapers, like network television, pay almost no attention to anything in which they’re interested.

When I first wrote my computer game column in 1994, nearly every newspaper in America turned down Chronicle Features because all the editors knew that no one was interested in computer games. Now, they all run little blurbs about games written by a clueless reporter, but it’s clear that none of these “reviewers” know anything about the industry because their reviews always revolve around the fact that graphics today are better than the last year’s graphics. As if one couldn’t have written the same idiocy in 1986.

You don’t go to the newspaper to read about sports, games or women, but it seems as if print publications such as Sports Illustrated, Computer Gaming World and Maxim are all doing just fine. To quote the Real Slim Shady:

And there’s a million of us just like me
Who cuss like me, who just don’t give a f— like me
Who dress like me, walk, talk and act like me
And just might be the next best thing but not quite me

So, naturally, when a few newspaper editors finally figure out that maybe there is a logical reason as to why Fox is crushing CNN et al and decide they need to add some right-leaning writers, who tops the list? A white chick, an Asian chick and a young Jewish law student.

Prediction: continuing circulation fall