Print Readership of the Chicago Reader … Rising?

In a post on Time Out Chicago‘s decision to end its print edition, Michael Miner reveals that print readership of the Chicago Reader has grown by 38 percent(!) since 2010, according to figures from The Media Audit:

Though the press run remained 90,000 copies, the cumulative number of print readers rose from 526,168 in 2010 to 612,843 in 2011 and to 730,029 last year. Says Jim Kirk, editor in chief of the Sun-Times Media papers, speaking of the Reader, “Our print audience is holding strong in an otherwise down market and we see no reason to change course.

“It may not be forever,” said [Reader editor Mara] Shalhoup, “but at least the next five years look pretty solid for print. But the thing is, print has to change and has been changing.” Print is now the best setting for long articles, special issues, and design-intensive issues, but there needs to be a “highly curated, tip-of-the-iceberg” tone to it that drives readers to the Web for everything else … “I think the Reader has stayed true to its identity,” said Shalhoup. This means serious articles that go on awhile (though nothing like they used to), and self-confident criticism that says, according to Shalhoup, “Here’s what people we hope you can trust think.”

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