From a memo of Scott Heekin-Canedy, president and general manager of The New York Times:
Yesterday, the most recent circulation results for The New York Times and other newspapers were released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
As we expected, The Times posted a modest decline (-3.5%) in our daily and Sunday circulation, the first in several years.
This is a result of the strategic decision we made to focus our efforts on the paid circulation that advertisers value most.
For example, we recently replaced our “two weeks free” promotion with our traditional 50% offer.
In addition, we also had a modest price increase in February.
We believe these actions will enable us to sustain our circulation in a more financially prudent fashion, enhance customer loyalty and provide our advertisers with the circulation quality they expect.
Our strategy is, in fact, working: our individual paid circulation, a key indicator of circulation quality, remains at 87%, one of the highest in the industry.
Our daily circulation is now 1,086,798; Sunday circulation is 1,623,697.
You should know that our audience remains strong.
Our home delivery circulation, thanks to national expansion, continues to be stable.
You should also know that our circulation in the key Manhattan market is stronger than all the competition.
Finally, our digital leadership is unparalleled in the newspaper community.
NYTimes.com is the largest newspaper-owned Web site in the world.
We will continue to monitor and manage our profitable circulation growth in the context of our overall strategy objectives.
What kind of strategy is this one that presents a -3.5% decline in such a optimistic way?
The first rule to find a solution is to understand the problem.
Well, it seems that in The New York Times there are no problems.