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February 25, 2009

New York Times Reduced to Telling Lies About Competition

Posted by Dave Blount at February 25, 2009 12:20 PM

The New York Times — once a highly respected newspaper — has been caught in a particularly spiteful lie:

The New York Times wrongly reported that the [Wall Street] Journal's circulation growth is due to heavy discounting and that the use of this tactic had increased since the News Corp takeover. Like most subscription newspapers, the Journal uses discounted offers to attract new subscribers. However, in 2008 the Journal moved away from deep discounting and raised the introductory offer and newsstand pricing by nearly 40%. Even with higher prices across the board, Individually Paid Circulation continues to grow in an industry that is largely shrinking. Print circulation revenue for the most recent quarter was up by nearly 9% over the year prior.
"The New York Times may choose to speculate and offer its opinions in its business coverage, and there were many erroneous assumptions and speculations made in the story. However, regarding our circulation strategy and recent strong success, the Times simply got it wrong today," said Paul Bascobert, chief marketing officer for Dow Jones & Company and The Wall Street Journal.

Failure to accurately represent the facts may be responsible for the Gray Lady's own circulation figures, which have been moving in the opposite direction.

On a tip from mandible claw.