Circulation grows! (or, “Man bites dog!”)

    “CIRCULATION GROWS” could be a screaming headline in 72-point with
multiple exclamation marks. But, oddly, it arrived in my inbox today as
a mere item in the latest e-bulletin of the Canadian Newspaper Association.

Reported the CNA, modestly: “Fourteen dailies (of the 35 reporting so
far) registered circulation growth in 2008 according to a recent report
by the Audit Bureau of Circulations for the six-month period ending
September 30.  The top two were the Vancouver Province (+15.1%) and the
Montreal Gazette (+11.4%).  Rounding out the top five are Chicoutimi Le
Quotidien (+5%), Calgary Herald (+3.1%) and the Lethbridge Herald

    Perhaps the modesty comes from the fact there are less-enthusiastic perspectives on the data. Here are the top grafs from a Marketing Week story:
“Twenty of 34 Canadian dailies reporting to the Audit Bureau of
Circulations saw Monday to Friday circulation decrease in the
April-September period, with declines ranging from less than a 1% to a
9.5% drop for the Herald-Tribune in Grand Prairie, Alta.”

“Obviously the economy has something to do with it,” said Bob White,
ABC’s senior vice-president, Canada. “But you should be looking at the
total media footprint of newspapers. Yes, the actual paper consumption
is down, but the access to their websites is up dramatically.”
    Clear as … mud? But could it possibly, perhaps, maybe just be, that all
of the sky is not actually falling? This data might help confirm that
other reports that suggest Canadian newspapers are holding up better
than their American counterparts. Both countries have a ways to go,
however, to reach the giddy heights of Scandinavian media discussed in a CNA report.