October 26th, 2009 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Oregonian Circulation Takes Another Tumble (UPDATED with new publisher named)


The Oregonian's daily circulation numbers fell 12.06 percent in the most recent six-month period measured by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The O was one of 15 daily papers in the top 25 to suffer double-digit declines, joining sister papers in the Newhouse chain that also had steep circulation falls such as The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (down 11.24 percent) and The (Newark) Star-Ledger (down 22.22 percent).

To put The O's new daily circulation number of 249,163 in some context, it was just four years ago that the paper was trying to hang on to a Sunday daily circulation of 400,000 (the O's paid Sunday circulation is 299,968, according to its statement of ownership published in yesterday's paper) because that was a number that triggered high ad rates.

Like many papers, The Oregonian has offered buyouts to staff in an effort to cut expenses in response to the freefall in paid circulation. And in a move that would have been unthinkable not so long ago, The O is discussing the prospect of layoffs if enough people don't take the latest buyout offer.

UPDATE: The O also announced this morning its new publisher to replace long-time publisher Fred Stickel, who retired in September. The new publisher is Chris Anderson, who is the former publisher and CEO of The Orange County Register. According to The O, Anderson, 59, has most recently been consulting with media companies and private equity investors.

He grew up in Heppner and delivered The Oregonian as a boy. He graduated from Oregon State University — where he was editor of The Barometer — and got his bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies in 1972.

Anderson's newspaper background includes stints as city editor of the Albany Democrat-Herald, managing editor of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin; associate managing editor of The Seattle Times. In 1980, he was named editor of the Orange County Register, which earned two Pulitzer prizes under him. He was named Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation in 1989.

Anderson became president and publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs in 1994. He returned to the Register in 1999 as publisher and CEO and was named the nation's Publisher of the Year in 2007 by Editor & Publisher magazine. He left the Register in 2007 as part of a cost-cutting reorganization (PDF).
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