For once, executives at The Enquirer probably are happy to have the newspaper deemed average.
Jim Hopkins, who operates The Gannett Blog, recently tallied the circulation losses during the last five years at the media giant's 10 largest newspapers. Hopkins compiled the data from Gannett's annual reports to shareholders.
The Enquirer's weekday circulation dropped from 191,827 in 2005 to 161,635 in 2010. That's a decrease of 16 percent — in line with the 16.4 percent average circulation loss industrywide from 2004-09.
The largest percentage drop among Gannett's flagship newspapers occurred at The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y., which had a 38 percent decrease. Circulation at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Ariz. — which is Gannett's largest daily newspaper, excluding USA Today — decreased 23 percent.
Like most newspapers, Gannett's circulation and profits have dropped as readers migrate to free content on the Internet, and the loss has lead to declining advertising revenues.
As part of companywide cuts, The Enquirer laid off about 20 people in June. Also, many employees have been required to take five-day furloughs during most fiscal quarters to help cut costs.
More than 1,200 employees were laid off at Gannett's newspaper holdings nationwide in 2009, including 101 people at The Enquirer.
Based in Virginia, Gannett is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher as measured by total daily circulation. Its 82 daily newspapers, including USA Today, reach 11.6 million readers on weekdays and 12 million readers on Sundays. Also, the firm owns 23 television stations in the United States.