The Wisconsin State Journal's circulation continues to fall, consistent with national trends, at times more so.
From Sept. 30, 2009, to Sept. 30, 2010, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the decline for newspapers nationally was just 5% for daily sales and 4.5% for Sundays. That was significantly less precipitous than it had been. As one analyst put it, "Things are getting worse at a somewhat slower rate." Whoop-de-doo.
ABC places the State Journal's total average paid circulation at 87,950 for the six-month period ending Sept. 30, down from 92,213 the year before, a decline of 4.6%. Sunday sales fell from 130,179 to 121,947, a drop of 6.3%.
But most of the State Journal's daily decline has occurred since March 31, 2010, when it stood at 92,213. Sunday sales have also fallen faster in the last six months than in the prior six-month period.
Capital Newspapers, including the jointly owned Capital Times, remains profitable, with at least one sign that this could again trickle down to long-suffering employees. Starting in January, the company will revive its 401(k) plan, paying 40 cents on the dollar up to 5% of salary. That's down from a 100% match in the good ol' days but better than the current funding level of nothing.
And it means the folks who still work there can squirrel away a few bucks for their post-newspaper days.