Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » Were you a Houston Chronicle subscriber?


As an avid newspaper reader, I've subscribed to multiple papers most of my adult life. Even as I child, I read the morning Topeka Capital and the evening Topeka Journal.

That's no longer possible since the Houston Chronicle stopped serving the Crossroads region. In an article Monday, the Chronicle cited high gas prices and newsprint costs and low advertiser interest in our area. The San Antonio Express-News also stopped delivery in our region at the start of this year.

In some respects, the move is good news for the Advocate. However, those two metro newspapers had a very low penetration in our market anyway, and most of those readers also took the Advocate.

I talked to a Victoria resident last week who was bemoaning the loss of the Chronicle. He emphasized he always reads the Advocate but misses having a second newspaper to read. I told him I understood.

As a community newspaper, we don't aim to be another Chronicle, but what elements of these metro papers would you like to see incorporated into the Advocate? How have you been satisfying your news fix?

In the latest circulation report we have, the Chronicle had 616 daily subscribers and 890 Sunday readers in Victoria County. Monday's Chronicle story reports the paper's total circulation dropped 1.8 percent daily and 6.6 percent Sunday. By comparison, the Advocate's circulation was flat daily and grew by half a percent on Sundays.

Online, readership of all newspapers continues to grow significantly -- a statistic often lost when people express doom and gloom about the industry. People remain interested in news that matters to them. The challenge is to keep reporting that relevant news and delivering it in the most convenient platform.