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Ascending the food chain (re: circulations)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jay Sherman, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. Jay Sherman

    Jay Sherman Member

    I don't want to come off as a schmuck here, but I'm curious. I'm a young kid and trying to figure out where working at a paper can get me one day. I know it's about connections and being at the right place at the right time, but I want to know if it's ridiculous to go from a 20k daily to a 70k daily in a year or 18 mos.

    Is it realistic to simply double the circulation with each move, or is it possible to jump more than that?

    noob :-\
  2. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    It's certainly doable, says the guy who's been at the same 40k circulation paper for more than 10 years...

    The trick is separating the mindset of advancing your career vs. the mindset of doing a good job where you are. You don't want to expend all your energy while at the 20k angling for your next job. Do good at what you are doing and keep your ear to the ground for when that next job comes open.
  3. Jay Sherman

    Jay Sherman Member

    Of course. I just don't want to waste my time if applying to 100k circs from a 30k circ is generally regarded as impossible.
  4. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Well just think -- soon you won't have to worry about trying to make the jump because there won't be any newspapers with a circulation of 100,000 or more........
  5. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member


    I believe in the powers of JRC to fix things.

    And that's why I'm applying for a job at KFC. :)
  6. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I went from being the No. 3 (out of three) at a 15K daily to the No. 2 (out of seven) at a 45K paper in about a year. It's certainly possible for anybody to make a jump, but it generally depends on other aspects (your skills, awards, work ethic, how you interview, situation, etc. ...).
  7. Jay Sherman

    Jay Sherman Member

    Same chain?
  8. I nearly tripled circulation from Paper No. 1 to Paper No. 2. That said, there were things about Paper No. 1 that were much, much better than Paper No. 2. Hating No. 2, I made a "lateral move" circulation-wise from Paper No. 2 to Paper No. 3 but I couldn't be any happier if I were at the New York Times. Seriously.

    You'll find it's not the circulation that makes you happy - it's the environment in which you work. Some of those small papers have some very big problems - as do many of the very big ones. In all honesty, find a place that lets you do what you think journalism should be and you'll never be happier any where else.
  9. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Likewise, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to go from being at a 100K circulation-daily to a 50,000-circulation daily, or smaller, if you're going to be "improving" your situation from high school girls' hockey to State U.

    At the very least, a lot of this job is about responsibility, and as the old adage says, sometimes it's beneficial to take one step backward to take two steps ahead. If you can hang with the big boys at a smaller shop, there's no doubt in my mind that the same person would be able to do the same work at a larger paper.
  10. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I more than doubled circulation on my first jump, then more than doubled it again on the second jump. So I quintupled circulation in 18 months; it's certainly possible.
  11. VJ

    VJ Member

    In this day and age, circulation doesn't mean nearly as much as job security. Is it worth jumping up 50 or 100k if it means being the low man on the totem pole and being the guy who gets axed when the cuts come?
  12. It’s definitely possible. But like some others have mentioned, I would warn against focusing so much on circulation numbers at this stage. With the internet today, great journalism can be viewed from anywhere. So I would focus on finding great stories where you are. The right people will notice, and the opportunities you’re seeking will come.
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