The Pine Bluff Commercial printed its annual statement of ownership, Management and Circulation this past Saturday, October the fifth. According to the statement total paid circulation on Tuesday, August 20th was 3,738.    One year ago, the Commercial said their paid subscriptions totaled 6,443.  This amounts to a loss of 2,705 paid subscribers or a loss forty-two percent (42%) of their subscribers.

Nationally newspapers have been hit very hard by the rise in popularity of internet as a source of news, as well as by the broadcast industry.  In 1973 the total circulation of all weekday newspapers in the nation was 68 million.  In 2018 circulatiion had dropped to 28 million which is 55% over 45 years.  In 2017 total circulation in the nation was 30.9 million and in 2017 paid circulation had dropped to 28.5 million or a decrease of 7%.

Nationally all newspapers in the United States lost 7% of paid circulation between 2017 and 2018.  No statistics are available for this year but the Pine Bluff Commercial, according to their own publication lost 42% of its paid circulation between 2018 and 2019.  The Commercial is owned by GateHouse Media.  GateHouse closed two papers in Arkansas in September, the Helena World and the Stuttgart Daily Leader.  The papers were rescued at the last moment by local people in Helena and Stuttgart, so they did not stop publication.