Editorial: ‘The Rock River Times’ shares circulation audit results

• Weekly newspaper reaches more than 40,000 readers per week, online daily reaches 29,965 unique visitors per month

By Brandon Reid
Senior Assistant Editor

The results are in for The Rock River Times’ Circulation Verification Council (CVC) audit for the period of Jan. 1, 2013-March 31, 2014. The purpose of this audit is to have an independent third party (the CVC) verify the printing and distributing of our 22,000 copies each week and also to help inform us of our readers’ behaviors and interests.

Results of this audit are often useful to advertisers who can use the information gleaned from this report to better reach their prospective audiences. Additionally, this report verifies for advertisers that our claims of circulation (22,000 copies printed each week) and readership (more than 40,000 readers per week in print, 29,965 unique visitors per month online) are accurate and not falsified.

Worth noting is that not all print publications are audited. This means their claims of circulation and readership may be little more than guesses — and in some cases, their claims could be complete fabrications. The CVC audit ensures we are honest with both our advertisers and our readers.

The third-party connection of this audit also means the CVC is not beholden to this newspaper. Rather, the CVC is an independent, third-party reporting audit company that audits thousands of editions of different newspapers nationwide with a combined circulation of more than 55 million. For more about the organization, visit http://www.cvcaudit.com/ or call 1-800-262-6392.

Possibly most importantly, this audit reminds us of the important role this newspaper plays in the lives of our readers and advertisers. For both those who advertise in our paper and those who make a point to pick up our paper each week or read us online, we are very grateful. Although we have won awards for reporting and design, our true reward continues to be having people pick up our paper each week or visit us online, or have businesses and individuals share their advertising dollars with us. Thank you!

Following are some of the highlights of the most recent audit:

• Despite a national trend of declining print readership, The Rock River Times’ print readership has remained steady, continuing to reach more than 40,000 readers per week.

• A majority of readers, 62 percent, keep our newspaper for a minimum of three days, while 23 percent keep the paper for one week or longer, meaning we have solid staying power.

• The Rock River Times’ readers are more highly educated (23 percent have a college degree, compared to 14 percent of the market) and have higher incomes (72 percent of readers make more than $50,000 per year, compared to 53 percent of the market) compared to readers of other publications in the market. The core of The Rock River Times’ readership (85 percent) also falls between the ages of 25 and 64. Both of these numbers means we reach consumers with the most disposable income.

• Readership of our online product, www.rockrivertimes.com, has increased 234 percent between 2012 and 2014 (12,810 unique visitors per month in 2012 compared with 29,965 unique visitors per month in 2014). With a commitment to continuing to serve as an online daily news site, we hope to continue this trend.

In addition to the audit, the CVC also provided The Rock River Times with a brief survey of 333 respondents. Based on the results of this survey, we learned our readers plan to purchase the following top 10 products in the next 12 months:

1. Dining & Entertainment — 85 percent

2. Women’s Apparel — 77 percent

3. Pharmacist/Prescription Services — 74 percent

4. Men’s Apparel — 72 percent

5. Tax Adviser/Services — 65 percent

6. Vacations/Travel — 63 percent

7. Automobile Accessories (Tires, Brakes & Services) — 58 percent

8. Children’s Apparel — 48 percent

9. Lawn & Garden — 42 percent

10 (tie). Home Improvements/Supplies — 38 percent

10 (tie). Cleaning Services (Carpet Cleaning, etc.) — 38 percent

From the Aug. 20-26, 2014, issue

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