Of the 25 newspapers in the country with the highest circulation, only four -- the Detroit Free-Press, Newsday, the Boston Globe and the Cleveland Plain Dealer -- showed bigger declines.
The Sunday paper has long been the P-D's bright spot. More than 100,000 additional readers get the Sunday edition delivered than do so Monday through Friday. And in previous Audit Bureau reports in October 2008 and March 2009, the Post-Dispatch was one of the few papers in the country to report gains in its Sunday circulation. (See also this link from the RFT.)
Most recently, in March, the P-D posted a much smaller Sunday decline, of just 3.8 percent. That was better than the average of its peers.
So what happened in the last six months? Maybe those new subscribers from 2008 and 2009 all decided to quit. Maybe the economy has gotten so rotten that even a Sunday paper feels like a luxury. We've got a message out to Post-Dispatch publisher Kevin Mowbray. We'll update this post if we hear back.
But as for finding answers in the P-D itself, don't hold your breath: The brief story displayed on the newspaper's website, www.stltoday.com, ignores the local angle and doesn't even mention the Post-Dispatch's big Sunday drop.