Powerline’s John Hinderaker has more on the Lance Armstrong “story.”
When the new circulation figures for the Times Two appear, it is a guarantee that the any losses will be explained away by reference not to the papers’ atrocious editorial decisions, but to the challenge from online competitors.
You can perfume a corpse, but that doesn’t make it less dead. Keep your eye on home delivery, paid circulation. The advertisers will. And my guess is that they won’t be happy. Nor will the shareholders or Wall Street.
There is an interesting series of comments on what constitutes a “material” drop in circulation over at ProfessorBainbridge.com. It seems to me that if The Tribune Company is aware that its flagship paper has lost, say, 5% of its circulation in a six-month period, the moment management is aware of that development, it should be disclosing the information to the public.
In fact, given the ease with which newspapers can know their paid circulation, it seems as though any reasonability test would look to monthly figures and ask why not publish them for the benefit of the marketplace as well as current and future shareholders? Rarely is a single data point as crucial to a company’s fortune as circulation is to a newspaper. When events impact that number, that impact belongs in the public domain.