Down East 2013 ©
The five hundred: The Portland Press Herald published its U.S. Postal Service statement of ownership, management and circulation in the Oct. 7 edition, and it shows a slight increase in the number of copies sold.
Emphasis on slight.
The Press Herald’s average daily circulation in the year ending Sept. 30, 2011 was 49,587. That’s about five hundred more than reported last year, an uptick of just over one percent.
Nevertheless, it’s a significant reversal from the past several years, which saw steady declines, culminating in a drop of more than eighteen percent from 2009 to 2010.
It remains to be seen if the circulation increases  reported by most of the state’s daily papers this year are the beginning of a trend or a blip on the charts. One indication of which way things are really going will come next month when the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases its report for the six-month period that ended in September. ABC is generally stricter in determining what constitutes paid circulation than is the postal service, and its numbers carry greater weight with advertisers.
The buck continues here: At the end of his Oct. 6 weekly column, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel editor Tony Ronzio briefly mentioned that effective Monday, Oct. 10, those two papers will follow the lead  of sister publication the Portland Press Herald, and increase the price for newsstand sales from seventy-five cents to a dollar. (That footnote is omitted from the online version of the column.)
Expect that hike to have a negative effect on circulation figures, although the results won’t become known until later next year.
Al Diamon can be emailed at email@example.com .