April 26, 2010
The Dallas Morning News Releases Latest Circulation Figures
Results reflect effectiveness of portfolio strategy
DALLAS - The Dallas Morning News, on April 15, 2010, filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), subject to audit, a Publisher's Statement for the six-month period ended March 31, 2010. Compared to the prior Publisher's Statement reporting period ended September 30, 2009, total circulation was:
The Publisher's Statement for the period ending March 31, 2010 was the second consecutive Publisher's Statement to reflect The News' broader portfolio of products, including The Dallas Morning News, and all of Briefing and Al Dia, and it was consistent with the Consolidated Media Report filed with ABC for the same period. Year-over-year data were not comparable because the Publisher's Statement filed for March 30, 2009 did not reflect the full circulation of Briefing or Al Dia.
The Publisher's Statement for the period ended March 31, 2010 was also the first to include the recently-approved Weekend Portfolio reporting option. "This new reporting approach helps align measurement with reality, and we are very pleased to be able to give our advertisers a more comprehensive and accurate measurement for their unduplicated ad buys," said John McKeon, President and General Manager.
Because the Publisher's Statement for the period ending March 31, 2010 was the first to include the Weekend Portfolio reporting option, a traditional year-over-year Publisher's Statement comparison was not possible. However, based on The News' internal comparison, the Weekend Portfolio for the period ending March 31, 2010 reflected an increase of 0.2% when compared to the previous six-month reporting period ending September 30, 2009.
Over the past year, the company has pursued a premium pricing strategy that 1) shifts and diversifies revenues, 2) ensures robust, valuable content that appeals to subscribers and 3) delivers attractive audiences for advertisers to improve their marketing ROI. Two components of this strategy were: premium pricing for the core The Dallas Morning News product, and a comprehensive portfolio of products targeting a variety of niche audiences beyond The News' core readership.
The company also continued to pursue digital channels and mobile applications with increasing success. Dallasnews.com continued to enjoy robust traffic increases: the six-month average (ending February 2010) for total unique users was 3,477,000, representing an 86% increase over the prior six-month period, ending August 2009, as reported by comScore.
The total circulation figures, which now include Briefing and Al Dia, reflected the success of the company's portfolio approach. Paid circulation figures for The Dallas Morning News reflected the premium pricing strategy: M-F circulation was 260,659, representing a 1.2% decline, and Sunday circulation was 373,031, representing a 4.5% decline when compared to prior reporting period ended September 30, 2009.
Year-over-year comparisons (March '09 March '10) showed a 21.5% reduction in daily (M-F) and Sunday paid circulations for The Dallas Morning News product, but they did not reflect the offsetting gains in other products in the portfolio, including Briefing and Al Dia, the impact of the complete premium pricing strategy or growth in digital platforms.
"By focusing on serving our core audience in The Dallas Morning News and shaping our portfolio to reach other targeted audiences, we are improving the value proposition for advertisers," said Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News. "We will continue our strategy to rebalance our business model, asking readers to share a greater portion of the cost of our core printed product, which in turn supports the quality of our journalism. This is a strategic advantage that must be maintained."
About The Dallas Morning News
Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News (dallasnews.com) is Texas' leading newspaper. Its portfolio of print and online products reach an average daily audience of more than 1.1 million. The newspaper has received nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. In 2005, The News received the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award for its editorial series calling for mandatory record votes in the Texas legislature, and its Web site, dallasnews.com, also was honored for Web reporting. In 2003, the paper launched the leading, award-winning Spanish-language daily, Al Dia; the standard-setting free entertainment tabloid, Quick; and the nation's first editorial blog. In 2008, the paper launched the free, home-delivered quick-read targeting busy women and families, Briefing. The company's full portfolio includes The Dallas Morning News, dallasnews.com website and mobile platforms, Briefing, Quick, Al Dia, GuideLive.com, Neighborsgo and FD Luxe. The Dallas Morning News is the flagship newspaper subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation.
About A. H. Belo Corporation
A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a distinguished newspaper publishing and local news and information company that owns and operates four daily newspapers and a diverse group of Web sites. A. H. Belo publishes The Dallas Morning News, Texas' leading newspaper and winner of nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986; The Providence Journal, the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the U.S. and winner of four Pulitzer Prizes; The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), serving southern California's Inland Empire region and winner of one Pulitzer Prize; and the Denton Record-Chronicle. The Company publishes various specialty publications targeting niche audiences, and its partnerships and/or investments include the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium and Classified Ventures, owner of cars.com. A. H. Belo also owns direct mail and commercial printing businesses. Additional information is available at www.ahbelo.com or by contacting David A. Gross, vice president/Investor Relations and Strategic Analysis, at 214-977-4810.