March 02, 2009

Rochester, NY, is the top U.S. city for newspaper readership, according to a new analysis of Integrated Newspaper Audience* (INA) data from newspaper ratings service Scarborough Research. A higher percentage of adults in Rochester, NY, are reading newspapers in print or online than in any other U.S. market. The Integrated Newspaper Audience of Rochester is 87% - meaning that 87% of adults in the Rochester DMA read a printed newspaper, a newspaper’s website, or did both during the past week. Following closely behind are Cleveland, OH and Buffalo, NY, each with an INA of 86%. In the 81 local markets measured by Scarborough, 75% of adults read the newspaper weekly in print or online.

“This data begs the question: is the constant negative news feed on the industry warranted when newspapers are actually being read by three-fourths of the adult population? When you look at audience data, it seems irrational that advertisers are leaving newspapers because the numbers speak for themselves,” said Gary Meo, senior vice president, print and digital media, Scarborough Research. “If you are an advertiser seeking to reach a large, upscale audience, newspapers are among the most effective media for doing so. Further, readership rates vary market-by-market and frequently defy local generalizations about declining audience. In order to obtain an accurate, in-depth portrait of newspaper health, in print and online, one needs to drill down to this local level.”

More than half of the adult population reads the newspaper even in those cities with lower than average Integrated Newspaper Audience. For example, in Bakersfield, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, (the two lowest ranking markets for Integrated Newspaper Audience), 59% of the adult population read a printed newspaper, a newspaper’s website, or did both during the past week. *Integrated Newspaper Audience is the percentage of adults in the market who have read the printed newspaper, or visited the newspaper’s website(s), or did both during the past seven days.

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