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Only a few months ago, I was elated to report that 5280’s readership had eclipsed all other monthly and weekly publications in Denver. Since then, that lead has continued to grow, and our total audience now rivals some even bigger players in the local media market.
According to new figures released by The Media Audit, a leading market-research firm that measures print and broadcast audiences in more than 80 markets across the country, 5280’s single-issue readership has grown to 400,222 adults, a 5-percent increase over the previous reporting period. Westword, Denver’s next largest weekly or monthly publication, saw its readership dip slightly to 224,002 per issue. That, however, was far from the most dramatic decline. Newcomer Denver Magazine lost 37 percent of its audience in that same time period, leaving it with just 33,438 readers, which is less than its claimed print run of 40,000 copies per issue.
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Still, the biggest surprise for me is seeing how 5280’s audience now compares with Denver’s daily and broadcast giants.
It’s no secret that newspapers have been losing readers for more than a decade. For the Denver Post, those declines have been so dramatic that 5280’s audience is now closing in on (and, in some cases, exceeding) the readership of some of the Post’s best-read sections. For instance, 5280 is within 37,000 readers of the Sunday Post’s high-profile front section, according to The Media Audit’s research. Better still, 5280 now reaches a bigger audience than do any of the Denver market’s 10 p.m. TV newscasts.
Like every other business these days, the crew at 5280 is working harder than ever to cope with the effects of our battered economy. So we’re incredibly gratified and thankful to see those efforts rewarded with the support of an ever-growing number of readers. Rest assured, that’s not something we’ll ever take for granted.