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The circulation of most U.S. newspapers is small, with the median circulation under 37,000. In this pool are a few very large circulation papers, among them the Wall Street Journal, with a 1998 circulation of 1,800,969.68 More than 65 percent of the daily newspapers in the United States are owned by chains. More than 97 percent of the cities that have a daily newspaper have only one, making most newspapers monopolies.
The demise of the Washington Star, the Philadelphia Bulletin, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and the Baltimore Evening Sun, as well as the mergers of the Minneapolis Star with the Minneapolis Tribune Cartier Replica and the evening Kansas City Star with the morning Times, are dramatic examples of changes occurring in U.S. newspapers. There is less competition in general and fewer afternoon or evening papers in particular. There are now only about fifty cities in the United States with two or more separately owned, competing newspapers. Until summer 1995, when Newsday folded, only one city, New York, had fourâ€”the Daily News, the Post, the Times, and Newsday.
In August 1999, the likelihood increased that San Francisco would become a one-newspaper town. The Hearst Corporation, which owns the San Francisco Chronicle, announced that it had purchased the San Francisco Examiner. The two papers had been functioning under a joint operating agreement that specified that they shared business functions but ran competing newsrooms. On Sundays, the two had combined to publish a single paper. In another sign of the times, this move by Hearst occurred in a market with eighteen suburban dailies!
Independently owned afternoon newspapers that compete with a morning newspaper are particularly vulnerable, as they must also compete with more up-to-date net-work and local television news and the problems of rush-hour delivery to suburban readers. In most cases, these pressures have proved fatal. Surviving afternoon papers tend to be in smaller markets. Editor & Publisher reported in June 1995, "More than 500 evening newspapers have ceased publication or switched to morning circulation in the last 35 years."
Economic forces have created a situation, in which 97 percent of the nation's daily newspapers enjoy a local newspaper monopoly, and nearly half are owned by some group or national chain.71 Competition among alternative media has taken the place of competition among newspapers.
The trend continued in 1995, with the nation's biggest newspaper company, Gannett, purchasing another eleven dailies. To Cartier Santos Replica that point, Gannett had owned eighty-two dailies whose daily circulation exceeded 5.8 million. The result, wrote a reporter for the New York Times, was "newspapers in most cities looking more and more alike, as though stamped from some giant corporate cookie cutter, many no longer play[ing] the vibrant role they played when there were more of them and they answered to more different kinds of owners."
Cross-media ownership is increasing as well. When Gannett purchased Multimedia Inc. in 1995, it added to its holdings the businesses that syndicated the shows of Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Rush Limbaugh.
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