The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2016 was 35 million for weekday and 38 million for Sunday, both of which fell 8% over the previous year. However, including the digital boost driven by The New York Times (NYT) and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) overall weekday circulation (print and digital) would have fallen by only 4% in 2016.
Digital circulation is more difficult to gauge. Three of the highest-circulation daily papers in the U.S. – The NYT, WSJ and Washington Post – have in recent years not fully reported their digital circulation to the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), the group that audits the circulation figures of many of the largest North American newspapers and other publications. Including their estimates, weekday digital circulation would have risen by 11%.
Total estimated newspaper industry advertising revenue for 2016 was $18 billion, based on our analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. This decreased 10% from 2015. Total estimated circulation revenue was $11 billion, which is roughly on par with 2015. Digital advertising accounted for 29% of newspaper advertising revenue in 2016, up from a quarter in 2015 and 17% in 2011.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics, in 2015 (the last year available) 41,400 people worked as reporters or editors in the newspaper industry, down 4% from 2014 and 37% from 2004.