Publishing: Two Can Play No. 1

Two Can Play No. 1

What is the country's largest newspaper? USA Today, and its publisher, Cathleen Black, claimed the title last week with full-page ads that tooted: SIMMONS SAYS WE'RE NO. 1. The ads referred to the latest survey by Simmons Market Research Bureau, which reported that the four-year-old Gannett daily has more readers than any other U.S. newspaper: 4.8 million, vs. 4 million for the Wall Street Journal, the former No. 1.

In fact, the Simmons readership figures are only a rough estimate of how many people look at a paper as it gets passed around. Most advertisers regard paid-circulation figures as a better...

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