Washington Times Circulation Growing

The Washington Times is one of the few major newspapers whose circulation is growing, according to the most recent survey of readership trends.

Times circulation climbs to buck trend (Washington Times)

The Washington Times celebrated its 23rd anniversary yesterday with cake and champagne served to its employees at a midafternoon assembly, as its executives announced a substantial gain in audited circulation in the face of a national trend of declining U.S. newspaper numbers. For the six-month period ending March 31, the newspaper’s daily circulation from Monday through Friday climbed to 103,017 — an increase of nearly 3 percent over the similar period last year, according to Fas-Fax, the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) report of publishers’ estimates.

“We’re scoring important exclusive after exclusive,” says Wesley Pruden, editor in chief of The Times. “I think Washington, official and otherwise, is realizing that The Times is the lively newspaper in town, packing a terrific punch as the indispensable source of news, and we’re enormously pleased that this is so. Newspapers, like humans, can suffer hardening of the arteries, and we’re determined not to let that happen to us as we approach the completion of our first quarter of a century as an important part of the life of the nation.”

Many U.S. newspapers, in fact, have struggled in recent years to hold readers. The Washington Post, for example, reported losing 20,682 subscribers, a 2.7 percent decline in its weekday circulation, from 772,553 to 751,871 compared to the first six months of 2004.

While part of this growth is explainable by the same trends that have Fox News and other comparatively conservative outlets thriving in the current marketplace, Pruden is right to say that his paper breaks a lot of stories. This is especially true on the intelligence and foreign policy fronts. Rowan Scarborough and John McCaslin, especially, are must-reads.

Update: Richard Gardner reminds me not to forget Bill Gertz. I knew I was forgetting somebody. Indeed, Gertz is arguably the Times’ most important reporter.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fersboo says:

    On my corner here at 13th & L NW, the WashTimes box is generally empty by noon and the USAToday and WashPost boxes have remainders in the late afternoon; usually, but not always.

  2. Jeff says:

    When I was in school in DC I usually bought the Times because it was cheaper as much as the tilt of the op-ed pages.

    Couple those two factors together today along with the intel and foreign policy coverage mentioned by Dr. Joyner and you have what is probably the recipe for their success.

    You can’t just tie it to the assumed Republican administration (or Congress) spike the Post used to chalk up rising Times circulation to.

  3. Lurking Observer says:

    Several friends of mine, professional journalists and very liberal sorts, regularly read the Washington Times.

    They are all impressed with the coverage (especially of defense, intelligence, and foreign affairs), and give the paper credit for digging out scoops and exclusives.

    I remember being floored the first time I heard some of these folks praising the paper.

  4. RE Gardner says:

    And don’t forget Bill Gertz on Defense issues. Many, many scoops.