Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Are Pulitzer’s Bad for Circulation?

In the previous post, I gave two potential reasons for the Star Tribune’s increase in circulation: crappy columnists and a lack of Pulitzer Prizes. A look at the evidence suggests that there may be something to the lack of Pulitzer hypothesis. If we examine the four newspapers (of the twenty largest) that have shown circulation increases, three have won no Pulitzers over the last decade. If we look at the four that have lost the most circulation, all have won at least one Pulitzer over the last decade.

This becomes even more impressive if I follow the rhetorical convention of ignoring all data points that disagree with my thesis. For example, the New York Times has won the most Pulitzers over the last decade and was the second fastest growing, and the Houston Chronicle was the fifth biggest decliner without having won any Pulitzers. These are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Here I list the top 20 largest newspapers in order of change in circulation. To the right is the number of Pulitzer Prizes they have won over the last decade.

1. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul – 0 Pulitzers
2. The New York Times – 22 Pulitzers
3. USA Today – 0 Pulitzers
4. New York Post – 0 Pulitzers

The following have seen circulation declines, with the Chicago Tribune posting the largest decline.
5. The Wall Street Journal – 14 Pulitzers
6. New York Daily News – 3 Pulitzers
7. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J – 2 Pulitzers
8. The Oregonian, Portland – 3 Pulitzers
9. Detroit Free Press – 0 Pulitzers
10. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – 0 Pulitzers
11. The Washington Post – 11 Pulitzers
12. The Philadelphia Inquirer – 1 Pulitzer
13. The Arizona Republic – 0 Pulitzers
14. St. Petersburg Times (Florida) – 1 Pulitzer
15. Houston Chronicle – 0 Pulitzers
16. The Boston Globe – 5 Pulitzers
17. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland – 1 Pulitzer
18. San Francisco Chronicle – 1 Pulitzer
19. Los Angeles Times – 18 Pulitzers
20. Chicago Tribune – 5 Pulitzers

Circulation figures via Drudge.


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