October 10, 2009 / 2:09 AM / 10 years ago

WSJ says it taking No.1 spot on USA Today losses

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal said on Friday it was now the largest U.S. newspaper by weekday circulation after USA Today, long No. 1, said in a memo its circulation had declined and likely knocked it down to No. 2.

Trade magazine Editor & Publisher reported on Friday that when the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases the latest numbers on October 26, it will show that USA Today’s circulation fell 17 percent to 1.88 million for the six months ending September 2009. Editor & Publisher also said the decline could threaten USA Today’s No. 1 position.

The Journal, owned by News Corp, reported that USA Today’s publisher, David Hunke, said USA Today remains the country’s top newspaper by total print circulation. The Journal added that its own circulation as of September 2008 included nearly 356,000 subscribers to its website.

USA Today is owned by Gannett Co Inc. A spokeswoman for Gannett was not immediately available for comment.

USA Today’s loss in circulation is related to the struggles of the travel industry during the economic downturn, hitting the newspaper’s hotel sales especially hard, Editor & Publisher cited publisher Hunke as saying.

Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Gary Hill

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