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Newspaper circulation falls 2.6 percent

Updated:
NEW YORK (AP) _ Average weekday circulation at U.S. newspapers fell 2.6 percent in the six month-period ending in September, the latest sign of trouble in the newspaper business, an industry group reported Monday.

Sunday circulation also fell 3.1 percent at newspapers reporting to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, according to an analysis of the data by the Newspaper Association of America.

The declines show an acceleration of a years-long trend of falling circulation at daily newspapers as more people, especially young adults, turn to the Internet for news and as newspapers cut back on less profitable circulation.

In the previous six-month reporting period ending in March, weekday circulation fell 1.9 percent at U.S. daily newspapers and Sunday circulation fell 2.5 percent.

Circulation at the country's three largest newspapers was relatively stable, but many others showed significant declines.

Gannett Co.'s USA Today, the largest-selling daily, slipped 0.6 percent from the same period a year ago to 2,296,335; The Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones & Co., fell 1.1 percent to 2,083,660; and The New York Times Co.'s flagship paper rose 0.5 percent to 1,126,190.

Of the rest of the top 20 newspapers reporting, all but one, the Star-Ledger of Newark, posted declines generally ranging between 1 percent and 8 percent. The San Francisco Chronicle, published by Hearst Corp., posted a 16.4 percent tumble in circulation.
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