Just give me the front section

Here are some interesting little gems from yesterday’s MediaPost Research Brief:

Reading of the front section of daily newspapers in the top 87 markets has gone up, from 51.4 to 53.0 percent between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, readers of all other 11 section have gone down.

The severest decline in percentage of readers was in the weekend television guide book. Its percentage of readers dropped from 31.9 to 23.1 between 2000 and 2005 because it appears to be the most easily duplicated by other media.

Other section readership changes during this period include:

  • The Movie/Entertainment section readership dropped from 26.5 to 23.1.
  • Travel sections dropped from 19.6 to 17.7.
  • Lifestyle/Fashion dropped from 23.7 to 21.7.
  • Other sections lost about one percentage point.

Says Jordan (Bob Jordan, president of International Demographics, producer of The Media Audit), “Five years without growth is a substantial problem.”

I think what’s more important than the readership loss is the idea that people who do read the newspaper increasingly seem to want it all in the front section. This makes sense in light of what’s taking place in our culture (Remember, TIME is the new currency), and it also says a lot about how to perhaps structure a paper that might actually sell.

And perhaps there’s a lesson here for broadcasters, too.

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