Globe numbers look promising

Circulation statements filed by the Boston Globe suggest the newspaper is doing fairly well maintaining its print subscriber base and growing its digital following.

The statements, included in the Sunday and Monday editions of the print newspaper, indicate January’s delivery debacle and the huge July 2015 digital price increase did not cut into the newspaper’s circulation.

According to the statements, the “total paid distribution” of the print version of the Boston Sunday Globe averaged 245,824 from September 2015 to August 2016. Sales of the electronic version of the Sunday newspaper averaged 85,594 over that period. The corresponding numbers for the lone Sunday of Sept. 4, 2016, were 242,997 (print) and 83,404 (digital).

For the daily newspaper, total paid distribution averaged 136,936 over the 12-month period and electronic sales averaged 88,047. For Friday Sept. 2, 2016, the corresponding numbers were 142,679 (print) and 87,823 (digital).

“Those look like pretty solid numbers,” said Dan Kennedy, an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University.

The circulation statements filed by the Globe are required by the US Postal Service.  They are difficult to interpret because their terminology differs from other circulation measurements, so apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult. Last year’s circulation statements could not be immediately found in the newspaper’s electronic archives.

Kennedy said numbers produced by the Alliance for Audited Media indicate the Globe’s paid circulation in the fourth quarter of last year averaged 252,113 for the Sunday newspaper and 137,731 for the daily. He said the average Friday circulation during the fourth quarter was 143,498. Those numbers would suggest the Globe’s print circulation has fallen only slightly since last year. Digital subscriptions were tallied differently by the Alliance for Audited Media, but seemed to be in the same neighborhood as those reported in the Globe circulation statements.

However, Globe officials have provided different circulation numbers in the past. In January, when the Globe was having problems delivering the newspaper, it reported its Sunday circulation was 205,000.

In July 2015, when the Globe raised its digital subscription price by 74 percent to $6.93, Globe officials told CommonWealth the newspaper had 230,000 print subscribers and 65,000 digital subscribers. Using those numbers, print and particularly digital circulation have increased over the past year.

BRUCE MOHL

BEACON HILL

Matthew Sisk, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation who was recently suspended for using state resources to throw a July 4th party for pols, was forced to resign after he used the siren and lights on his state-issued vehicle to cut through heavy traffic in Boston. (Boston Herald)

Attorney General Maura Healey says she has no second thoughts about her recent crackdown on sales of assault weapons in Massachusetts despite being sued by gun owners and manufacturers. (Keller@Large)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A three-week crackdown by police in the Main South section of Worcester resulted in 175 people being arrested. (Telegram & Gazette)

Quincy city officials are looking to take ownership of their side of a vacant contaminated lot at the Braintree line where the owner owes the city more than $750,000 in unpaid taxes. (Patriot Ledger)

As officials rally in support of the Pink House on the Plum Island Turnpike, hoping to rescue it from a planned demolition to expand the wilderness, a Salem News editorial calls for some sort of compromise.

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, donates $1.5 million to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. (Berkshire Eagle)

Easton officials are split over a proposal to bar elected and appointed town board members from carrying guns in Town Hall and other municipal buildings, extending a ban that already applies to employees. (The Enterprise)

Provincetown officials have been stymied in their attempts to clean up a park commemorating the spot where the Pilgrims first landed in time for the 400th anniversary of the event because paperwork to transfer the land from the state to the town has been held up on Beacon Hill. (Cape Cod Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Female chess grandmasters are threatening to boycott the world championships next year after the governing body awarded the tournament to Iran and mandated women who participate must wear hijabs in accordance with the country’s laws. (The Telegraph)

ELECTIONS

The New York Times obtained copies of Donald Trump’s income tax return from 1995 that shows he lost more than $915 million and could mean he paid nothing in income tax for the following two decades because of that. His supporters spent the weekend on damage control, trying to put the revelations in the best light that they say shows Trump’s business acumen. Some called the tax avoidance genius. (Time) There is some speculation the outsized loss and the effect on subsequent filings could be what has triggered the infamous audit Trump cites for refusing to release his tax records. (Boston Globe) It’s a question that has been whispered but is now being spoken out loud, especially in the wake of his recent actions: How much does Trump really want to be president? (National Review)

Former Massachusetts governor William Weld, the Libertarian Party’s vice president nominee, thinks Hillary Clinton is the best qualified person to be president, though he did say his running mate Gary Johnson was “solid.” (Business Insider)

Lebron James explains why he is voting for Hillary Clinton — because she will build on the legacy of the basketball player’s “good friend” President Obama. (Business Insider)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The owner of the Worcester Railers hockey team buys up 3.5 acres of land around the Worcester Sports Center. (Masslive)

OSHA has opened up a new investigation of the Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill Hotel across from Massachusetts General Hospital. The investigation comes just one year after the federal safety agency fined the hotel for failing to protect housekeepers from discarded needles, bloody bandages, and other biohazards. (Boston Globe)

Episcopal leaders are defending their decision to unearth the remains of congregants buried on a shuttered church property in Wayland and relocate them as part of a deal in the land sale to another church. (Boston Globe)

A Georgia couple is accused of defrauding Staples out of $1.4 million by hacking the company’s loyalty card system. (Masslive)

EDUCATION

The UMass system is preparing to spend $2.5 billion on infrastructure repairs at its five campuses over the next five years. (Lowell Sun)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Sick or dangerous? Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson reports on Heather Lyons, who was arrested after confiding to her therapist that she had thoughts about shooting up and bombing the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s Department of Public Health backs the controversial expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital. (State House News)

More than 80 Massachusetts cities and towns have passed ordinances putting a cap on the number of retail licenses to sell tobacco and 60 communities are restricting where cigarettes can be sold, including banning sales within 500 feet of a school. (GateHouse News)

Health officials are concerned there will be a drop in the number of flu vaccinations because of children’s fears of needles after a nasal option was taken off the market after researchers questioned how effective it really was. (U.S. News & World Report)

TRANSPORTATION

A Berkshire Eagle editorial slams the state Department of Transportation for encouraging Massachusetts drivers to get E-ZPass transponders but then failing to create enough corresponding accounts. Some drivers have paid fines as a result.

Middleboro selectmen say they’ve been left out of the loop by state transportation officials on the South Coast Rail project, which could now run through the town in a new proposed route. (The Enterprise)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Sue Minter, the Democratic candidate for governor in Vermont, wants to expand the regional cap-and-trade program for electricity emissions to gasoline to combat climate change. (Burlington Free Press)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The AFL-CIO plans to go before a federal judge to argue prosecuting Teamsters in the “Top Chef” case would harm unions’ ability to negotiate and exercise their First Amendment right to speech. (Boston Herald)

A group of Harvard Law students were behind three federal prisoners being granted clemency by President Obama. (Boston Globe)

MEDIA

Gannett is preparing to purchase Tronc, says Ken Doctor. (Politico)