The Daily Herald's combined print and digital readership continues to increase, earning it a prestigious spot in the Top 25 Newspaper Audience Gainers, a national study released by the Alliance for Audited Media.
The study spans six months ending in March 2014 and shows the Daily Herald at No. 19 with a 2.3 percent increase in audience numbers. It ranked No. 21 with a 2.5 percent increase during a comparable period in 2013.
"This latest acknowledgment of the Daily Herald's readership speaks to the strength of the brand and the commitment to local news and information that is so valuable in this age of digital transformation," said Douglas K. Ray, chairman, CEO, president and publisher.
The Daily Herald, published by Arlington Heights-based Paddock Publications Inc., and the Chicago Tribune were the only Illinois-based newspapers on the list. The study evaluated 100 U.S. newspapers nationwide.
The Orange County Register in California was No. 1 with a 46.49 percent increase.
Many news organizations in the Top 25 showed significant growth because they've added more components from the previous reporting period. With the Daily Herald, the numbers reflect true growth on a comparable basis.
"The trusted brands will win out as readers make choices regarding where and how to access their news, and this growth in total audiences is proof that the Daily Herald is on the right track," Ray said.
"To be in the top tier of newspapers in the United States in audience growth can be attributed to the commitment of the entire organization -- from reporters and editors to production staff and distributors," he said. "So at a time when many newspapers companies are losing ground, the Daily Herald is moving ahead, garnering an audience that has never been larger. We look forward to continuing growth in all areas of our business, which will only better serve our readers and advertisers."
The so-called Audience Snapshot study was released June 13 and is based on research conducted by Scarborough Research and verified by Arlington Heights-based Alliance for Audited Media.
The readership study indicates that every copy is read by more than one person. For example, if one newspaper is delivered to a home, it could be read by three or four people in that home, said Neal Lulofs, executive vice president of marketing and strategy for the alliance.
"Overall readership is up year over year, and that's in both print and online," Lulofs said.
While the print measurement involves just the printed newspaper over a seven-day period, the digital measurement includes both the website and apps over 30 days, he said.