Star Tribune records circulation increases

  • Article by: MIKE HUGHLETT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2011 - 7:16 PM

Sales of both Sunday and daily papers increased over previous figures.

The Star Tribune's Sunday circulation grew for the second consecutive six-month period, according to figures the Audit Bureau of Circulations released Tuesday.

The 0.6 percent gain brought Sunday circulation to 496,039 copies under traditional accounting methods. Weekday circulation rose 0.4 percent to 296,605.

Publisher Mike Klingensmith said the increases are particularly significant in that the paper achieved them while also charging higher prices than a year ago.

"These last two periods set a pattern that gives us confidence our overall strategy is working," Klingensmith wrote in an internal memo to employees.

The increase in daily circulation reverses a 7.7 percent loss in daily circulation for the six months ending March 31, 2010, when the paper hit its lowest weekday paid circulation since the Star and Tribune merged in 1982.

Officially, the Star Tribune's Sunday circulation during the most recent six-month period was 516,134, a figure that includes 20,095 "branded editions," a new inclusion into ABC's circulation count. The Star Tribune in August launched Strib Express, a Sunday edition that added almost 21,000 subscribers to its Sunday circulation base.

The publication is free and goes to non-subscribers if they ask for it. Strib Express offers six pages of lifestyle content from the previous week and many of the insert ads that Sunday subscribers would get.

Some papers added well over 100,000 to their circulation count with the change, though some of those additions resulted from the re-branding of regional papers under common ownership.

Under the new ABC circulation method, the Star Tribune ranked as the tenth-largest Sunday newspaper in the country.

"Any way the numbers are counted, we are growing and building strong circulation fundamentals," Klingensmith wrote.

Traditional Sunday circulation of the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, the Star Tribune's chief local rival, was up 0.2 percent to 254,590 for the six months ending March 31. The paper's daily circulation was up 0.3 percent to 193,549.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003

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