Now that any gains from an influx of Kentucky Post readers are no longer helping boost its numbers, The Cincinnati Enquirer had a 13.2 percent drop in its weekday circulation during the past year.
The latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) states that the Mon.-Sat. average paid circulation for The Enquirer dropped to 168,912 readers as of Sept. 30, a loss of 25,622 readers since the same period last year.
Also, The Enquirer’s average paid circulation for its Sunday edition dropped by 5.5 percent, according to the ABC. Its circulation was 257,857 as of Sept. 30, a loss of 14,878 readers since the same period in 2008.
The Enquirer had some circulation gains last year, after The Cincinnati Post and The Kentucky Post ceased publication on Dec. 31, 2007.
Cincinnati’s only surviving daily newspaper is owned by The Gannett Co. Based in McLean, Va., Gannett is the largest newspaper publisher in the United States. The firm owns 84 daily newspapers, including USA Today and newspapers in Detroit, Indianapolis and Louisville; and roughly 850 non-daily publications.
USA Today posted a 17 percent drop in circulation.
The only daily newspaper owned by Gannett that posted an increase in circulation during the past year is The Visalia Times-Delta in California, which had a 15.1 percent jump.
As with most U.S. newspapers, The Enquirer has faced tough economic times due to readers migrating to the Internet and a related loss in advertising dollars.
The Enquirer laid off 101 employees in July, including columnist Peter Bronson and the staff of CiN Weekly.
The local newspaper also required most of its workers to take two separate, five-day unpaid furloughs this year. In December, The Enquirer had another round of layoffs and offered several employees a voluntary severance package last fall to reduce its payroll.
Staff shrinkage has continued after the layoffs with the voluntary departures of Kentucky reporter Pat Crowley, Moms Like Me guru Karen Gutierrez and sportswriter Dustin Dow.
In recent months, The Cincinnati Enquirer has rebranded itself as Enquirer Media, hoping to lure advertisers with its audience reach through various Web sites and its presence on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.