Newspaper sales continue a steep slide nationally. The industry reported a 2.1 percent drop in weekday circulation, and 3.1 percent on Sundays, in the six months ended March 31, compared with the period a year earlier. The figures, compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulations but not yet audited, reflect 745 of the nation’s more than 1,400 daily newspapers. The figures follow first-quarter reports for the nation’s major newspaper companies that showed falling earnings, declines in advertising and plans for continued staff cuts, heightening fears about the future of newspapers. Circulation figures have dropped gradually for two decades, beginning in the 1980s, but since 2004, the decline has picked up speed as readers and advertisers have migrated to the Internet.
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