Boston Globe circulation rises nearly 12 percent, Boston Herald falls nearly 15 percent

The Boston Globe’s daily circulation rose nearly 12 percent during the six-month period that ended Sept. 30, buoyed by the growth in digital subscriptions, according to an organization that tracks newspaper readership.

The Globe’s circulation, which includes subscriptions to, increased 11.9 percent to 230,351 compared with the same six months in 2011, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Globe’s Sunday circulation, including digital subscriptions, grew 3.4 percent to 372,541.

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald’s daily circulation fell below 100,000 during the six-month period ending in September. Circulation for the tabloid declined sharply by 14.9 percent to 96,860 compared to same period a year ago, according to the bureau. The Herald’s Sunday circulation was 77,764, down 9.4 percent.


The Globe’s growth came as daily circulation for 613 newspapers across the country decreased overall by 0.2 percent during the same period, as more readers and advertisers turned to the Internet.

“These numbers build on a trend we first saw this spring, when the Globe’s paid circulation grew for the first time since September 2004,’’ said Christopher Mayer, the Globe’s publisher. “This reflects our readers’ commitment to our award-winning journalism, no matter what the platform.’’

While print circulation for the Globe declined nine percent for the daily and six percent for Sunday, they were offset by gains in digital subscriptions. The Globe has 26,000 digital-only subscribers to, which launched last October. Overall, nearly 50,000 readers use the Globe’s portfolio of digital products, averaged over the six-month reporting period, according to the bureau.

Herald president and publisher Patrick J. Purcell did not provide comment about the bureau’s numbers, which focuses on paid circulation; rather he discussed a different measurement – the number of people who read the tabloid – saying print readership is up year over year and more people are reading the paper online.

“The Herald’s audience is stronger than ever – and that success is clearly the result of a relevant newsgathering operation and a point of view that starts the conversation every day,’’ Purcell said in a statement.

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