RealClearPolitics Media Watch

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USA Today Keeps Its Hold on No. 1

While newspapers were losing subscribers everywhere in 2008, USA Today managed to buck the trend. The nation's top selling paper now has a circulation of 2,293,000, up slightly from 2007. In fact, USA Today and Chicago Sun-Times are the only papers ranked in the top 20 that gained readership from a year ago, according to the annual BurrellesLuce Report.

The Wall Street Journal joins USA Today as the only papers cracking the 2 million mark. The New York Times, at No. 3, continues its alarming slide, losing nearly 80,000 in circulation from the past year to finish with just over 1 million. Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune follow as the only other papers clearing the 500,000 mark.

Of the top 15 dailies, five are in the New York metro area. Two-paper towns continue to disappear as New York and Chicago are the only cities with multiple papers ranked in the top 25.

Magazines, meanwhile, held up reasonably well from 2007, with the AARP publishing the top two ranked magazines, followed by Reader's Digest. The Huffington Post continues to be the top ranked English language blog. And for the first time, social networks appeared in BurrellesLuce's rankings, with Facebook checking in at No. 1.

There was some good news for the weathered Grey Lady. The Times still publishes the most-read Sunday paper, with a circulation of over 1.4 million. And its web site is by far the most trafficked among newspaper sites in the U.S., checking in at No. 26. The Washington Post's site, at No. 100, is the only other newspapers site cracking the top 100.