Tag Archives: Scarborough

At the Globe and the Herald, what’s up is down, etc.

On Tuesday, the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) released data showing that the Boston Globe’s paid circulation is rising thanks to digital subscriptions, and that the Boston Herald’s is falling. (Here is how the Globe covered it.)

Today the Herald counters with a story claiming that the reverse is actually true, citing a private report from Scarborough Research.

It’s an exact replica of what happened six months ago. So if you’d like some perspective on the ABC numbers, click here; and if you want background on the Herald’s pushback, click here.

Just to be clear, the ABC figures are public and are widely regarded as the industry standard. If you read what I wrote earlier, you’ll see that there’s some double-counting going on with respect to print and digital subscriptions. But what ABC is doing is transparent and understandable to everyone.

I would love to read the Scarborough report. But unless it somehow magically appears in my inbox, I have no way of parsing the findings that the Herald cites.

Globe versus Herald: Scarborough edition

About a month after the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) reported that the Boston Herald’s paid circulation was falling and the Boston Globe’s was rising, the Herald today offers the results of a new Scarborough survey that claims exactly the opposite.

OK, not exactly the opposite — the Scarborough report counts total print and Web readership, not papers and digital editions sold. Overall, according to Herald reporter Frank Quaratiello, “The Herald’s print and Web audience rose 6 percent while the Globe’s combined audience dropped 6 percent.”

Unlike ABC reports, I do not have access to Scarborough surveys, which clients such as the Globe and the Herald pay for. So I’m not in a position to endorse or dispute the Herald’s take. (But if anyone wants to send me a copy …)

And though it doesn’t merit its own item, I’ll note a final Globe-versus-Herald brief for today: a Herald story quoting an unnamed union source who says the New York Times Co. is shutting the Globe’s suburban bureaus in the near future — “another sign that the Big Apple company is setting the stage to sell the Hub broadsheet.”

More: I should note the latest ABC figures, which show the Globe’s total paid circulation on Sundays is 365,512, whereas the Herald’s is 81,677. On Monday through Friday, it’s 225,482 for the Globe and 103,616 for the Herald.

For Web traffic, the best I can do is Compete.com, whose overall numbers are suspect, but which has some usefulness in terms of making apples-to-apples comparisons. According to Compete, the Globe’s free Boston.com site attracted 2.8 million unique visitors in April, compared to 1.2 million for BostonHerald.com.

It depends on what you mean by “bureaus.” Update: The Herald story refers to the Globe’s “remaining suburban bureaus.” But two Globe sources tell me that the Globe only has one — in Danvers.