U-T readership down from last year

Sunday readers down more than 17,000 or 4.6%

SAN DIEGO - The U-T is no longer one of the top 25 papers in the country with Sunday circulation down from last year.

Jaci Springfield was one of the faithful readers who used to subscribe to the U-T but dropped her subscription two years ago.

"I just found that more and more I wasn't finding anything that I found good information or that I wanted to read about," she said.

Springfield is not alone.

According to the latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the number of Sunday U-T readers dropped from more than 368,000 last year to 351,682 this year. That is a decrease of more than 17,000 readers or 4.6 percent.

"The upside is it's not down that much, so the sky is not falling yet," said Dean Nelson, a journalism professor at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Nelson says the U-T should take this seriously.     

"This is an indicator that people are not flocking to the new U-T," said Nelson.

U-T San Diego was purchased by prominent hotel developer Doug Manchester, who is no stranger to politics.

CEO John Lynch issued the following statement to 10News:

"The losses were 6 percent to 10 percent on an annual basis before we acquired the UT. They continued until we released our plan with a redesigned paper on July 15th and introduction of the pay wall in mid July.

Many others, (LA Times, NY Times and most metros) had introduced pay wall last year . Due to the sale, etc. ours was later. These figures now include paper circulation, special issues and digital paid. Since our introduction of the Sunday Big Deal and the pay wall our circulation is up over last year and will exceed it by next year’s measurement. With the addition of the North County Times circulation and digital subscription the UT enters the top ten.

Accordingly, like Obama, who blames it on Bush, our declines were blamed on previous ownership, but surging now."

Nelson says the U-T should stick to journalism.

"I would do a little less cheerleading and a little less politicking," said Nelson.

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