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Daily-paper circ drops: How are outstate papers doing?

Lost in today’s news about continuing circulation drops at the Star Tribune, and the PiPress’ continuing stability, is this question:

How’s the rest of the state’s daily-paper ecosystem doing?

Today’s Audit Bureau of Circulations report also has Greater Minnesota daily-paper data from September 2007 to 2008 — though some papers, like the Duluth News Tribune and Rochester Post-Bulletin are not included in the report.

The short version: the Mankato Free Press is holding up well, while the St. Cloud Times had a weekday circ drop bigger than the Strib’s (the only state paper in the ABC report with that “honor”). However, the Times was one of three to post Sunday gains. (St. Paul and Mankato were the others.)

Generally speaking, state papers are seeing circulation fall, but not at Strib levels.

Here’s how they shape up, ranked from least circulation loss to greatest. (September 2008 circ in parenthesis.)

Weekday papers

1. St. Paul Pioneer Press, +0.3 percent (184,973)
2. Mankato Free Press, -0.2 percent (21,900)
3. Brainerd Dispatch, -1.1 percent (12,334)
4. Owatonna People’s Press, -1.9 percent (7,148 Tues.-Sat.)
5. Winona Daily News, -2.1 percent (11,009)
6. Marshall Independent, -2.6 percent (6,894)
7. Fairmont Sentinel, -3.0 percent (6,493)
8. New Ulm Journal, -3.4 percent (7,811)
9. Minneapolis Star Tribune, -4.2 percent (322,360)
10. St. Cloud Times, -4.6 percent (24,672)

Sunday papers

1. St. Paul Pioneer Press, +0.2 percent (246,431)
2. St. Cloud Times, +0.2 percent (35,456)
3. Mankato Free Press, +0.1 percent, (21,809)
4. Brainerd Dispatch, -1.2 percent (16,716)
5. New Ulm Journal, -2.1 percent (8,484)
6. Owatonna People’s Press, -2.8 percent (7,374)
7. Winona Daily News, -4.8 percent (12,207)
8. Minneapolis Star Tribune, -8.6 percent (520,828)

(The Marshall Independent and Fairmont Sentinel don’t have Sunday editions.)

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