Friday, 27 March 2009

2008 CCAB stats

The Toronto Sun's first Canadian Circulation Audit Bureau report released this week provides Monday through Sunday distribution averages for all of 2008.

Sun Media dropped out of Audit Bureau of Circulations lasy year, so there are no year to year comparisons for this first CCAB report.

CCAB figures do show Sun Media's 2008 campaign to regain No. 1 status over the Sunday Star gained momentum during the year, but collapsed in December.

Now that the major dailies have spun this week's NADbank readership results for 2008 (how many people read a single copy), the following are 2008 distribution averages.

The Toronto Sun's average daily circulation for the 12 month period ending December 2008:

Monday: 181,916; Tuesday: 184,470; Wednesday: 185,460; Thursday: 187,663; Friday: 182,856; Saturday: 157,220; Sunday: 319,499.

A breakdown of those average daily circulation figures:

Home delivery:
Monday: 49,003; Tuesday: 48,847; Wednesday: 48,804; Thursday: 48,879 ; Friday: 50,623; Saturday: 61,830; Sunday: 163,479.

Single copy:
Monday: 105,599; Tuesday: 107,723; Wednesday: 108,595; Thursday: 110,551; Friday: 103,890; Saturday: 71,622; Sunday: 83,419.

Third party or free:
(a) Home Delivery: Monday: 153; Tuesday: 151; Wednesday: 151; Thursday: 186; Friday: 546; Saturday: 149; Sunday: 38,468.

(b) Single Copy: Monday: 23,672; Tuesday: 24,036; Wednesday: 24,230; Thursday: 24,232; Friday: 24,140; Saturday: 23,492; Sunday: 34,006.

(c) Educational: Monday: 3,489; Tuesday: 3,713; Wednesday: 3,680; Thursday: 3,815; Friday: 3,657; Saturday: 127; Sunday. 127.

Also telling are the average monthly circulation totals, with only the Friday edition ending the year ahead of January, no doubt thanks to the Entertainment department's beefed up Friday features and movie and DVD reviews.

But December's Sunday Sun total nosedived.

We'll condense the 2008 average monthly circulation totals to how the year began and how it ended. Totals include individual paid and third party or free:

Monday: January: 187,419; December: 167,321 - down 20,098
Tuesday: January: 176,384; December: 165,771 - down 10,613
Wednesday: January: 183,989; December: 163,177 - down 20,812
Thursday: January: 186,285; December: 175,076 - down 11,209
Friday: January: 181,614; December: 186,561 - up 4,947
Saturday: January: 153,756; December: 143,415 - down 10,341
Sunday: January: 312,767; December: 252,382 - down 60,385

Those Sunday Sun figures are staggering, coming in a year that Sun Media announced it would fight to restore the Sunday paper to No. 1 status.

Sunday's monthly averages did hang in there for most of the year, peaking in September at 360,218, which was an impressive increase over January.

The monthly average for November was 345,663, but December was no Christmas gift, plunging to 252,382, with a single copy total of 218,239 (January: 256,900) and third party or free at 34,143 (January: 55,867).

Sunday Sun averaging for the year - 319,499.

To put the Sunday Sun numbers into perspective, they peaked at 550,00-plus in the fall of 1992 when Michael Burke-Gaffney was Sunday Sun editor. He exits Tuesday, retiring as managing editor.

We wonder if dropping the Sunday television guide in September 2008 in papers beyond the GTA and hiking the price played a part in the dismal finish.

The Friday Sun came out a winner and most other days suffered some losses in a down year, but the Sunday Sun's magic clearly has faded.

Readers have lost that lovin' feeling and the Sunday Sun hasn't found a way to get them back.


  1. I stopped my weekday paper last year, as I didn't seem to have the time to read it, and the quality was deteriorating . I do have a bit more time on the weekends, but here's my take on the Sunday Sun:

    1) whatever they did to mess up the sections is just dumb. My wife, son and I try to read it at breakfast, but other than the sports and entertainment section, hard to find where the news and comments go. Actually, they may have fixed this, but we now just mostly leaf through it.

    2) I'm not interested in a new house, car or a vacation. So over half the paper gets thrown out, unread

    3) the sports section is better, a bit, but a pale ghost of a decade ago. I live in downtown Toronto, and some of the late scores are missing. Another reason to read online...and there seems to be little in-depth stuff I'm interested in. I don't really need another "article" that looks suspiciously like a list of things...

    4) entertainment section is all over the map. I'm 44. I don't care about these week's bimbo. Besides, I can probably find a better pic from one of the gossip sites anyway. Computer games? Nope. And is it just me, or does Slotek write half the section now?

  2. They have got to give that old hack Slotek a breather. ; )
    Seriously, it's a staffing issue. Would that we had some.

  3. I must also add, there are weeks when Kevin Williamson writes the entire section.

  4. Humbly submitted:

    A year ago at a leadership conference in London, Ont., Mike Sifton unveiled Sun Media's Core Values and Mission Statement.

    Core values: Integrity, Courage, Collaboration, Respect and Spirit.

    Mission Statement: Helping to connect and build better communities.

    Unfortunately it is true that these business principles no longer apply to Sun Media