Civics: All told, these are stunningly bad numbers. In less than a decade the paper lost 57% of its Sunday readers and 58% of its daily readers.

Bruce Murphy:

And if the true number of digital subscribers is 7,537, that means 89.9% of Journal Sentinel subscribers are getting the print edition. Which is a disaster. Most print readers are older people who are literally dying out. This is also a demographic that advertisers are less interested in.

Compare this to perhaps the most successful daily paper in the nation, the New York Times. It recently reported that it has nearly 8.4 million total subscriptions, of which 7.6 million are digital. In short less than 10% of its subscribers get the print edition.

Even compared to other Gannett papers, the Journal Sentinel has a dreadfully low percentage of digital readers. In 2019 “Gannett said that its digital-only subscribers totaled 607,000 — less than a third of its print subscribers. At GateHouse [which merged with Gannett] online subscribers make up less than 20 percent of its print circulation,” as the Boston Business Journal reported.