The Wall Street Journal reports on the continuing decline in newspaper circulation in the United States, in particular at the larger metropolitan dailies, but points out that some publishers are shedding circulation in places where it is less profitable and attractive to advertisers.
This is a longstanding technique. At times newspapers will inflate circulation through sponsored bulk distribution in hotels, airport lounges and schools. At other times they scale back on circulation to harder-to-reach areas for home delivery.
What is interesting is to see this phenomenon at a time of serious stress in the business. Clearly the tactic aims to cut costs, plain and simple, and not be concerned about the strategic implications of keeping papers in the hands of those who might stay loyal over the years ahead.