WILKES-BARRE — The Times Leader has increased its readership lead, thanks to hard work and engaged readers.
According to the latest figures from Scarborough Research, a Nielsen Company service, each print edition of the Times Leader from Monday through Saturday is read by an average of 74,631 people, for a lead of nearly 23,000 readers per edition over its main competition, The Citizens’ Voice.
On an average Sunday, 88,301 people read the paper’s print edition, a lead of more than 30,000 readers.
Those statistics, which were released earlier this month, show the Times Leader’s readership growing in each key category measured by Scarborough.
The paper’s integrated newspaper audience, which is the cumulative combined total of average five-day readership, average Sunday readership and seven-day online readership, reached more than 139,000, a lead of nearly 48,000.
“The recent release of the 2018 Scarborough numbers clearly indicate the lead that the Times Leader has over local competition in print media,” Times Leader Media Group Publisher Mike Murray said. “The numbers also show a remarkable gain in the past year which puts our readership well above all others not just on Sunday but Monday through Saturday as well.”
“And while the numbers are extremely important and certainly speak for themselves, the real impact is our customer experience,” Murray added. “Advertisers look for results and our products deliver what they want. Readers continually look to us for all the local news and features.”
New York-based Nielsen Scarborough is a national media research company with more than 30 years experience. It conducts over 200,000 surveys per year in over 120 areas across the country, gathering information about radio listening, newspaper and magazine reading, television viewing, leisure activities and shopping habits.
The information is used by local radio stations, television stations, newspapers, magazines, advertisers, and retailers to understand what consumers are listening to, reading, viewing and buying.
Strengthening the product
The paper’s readership gains come after nine months of key moves designed to strengthen the product and cement its commitment to the community.
Last fall, veteran editor Joe Soprano, who has been with the paper for 30 years, was named executive editor, with oversight of the news, sports features departments and the Times Leader Media Group’s weekly publications.
Around the same time, longtime police reporter Ed Lewis, who had left the paper in 2015, brought his two decades of experience back to the Times Leader. In January of this year, former courts reporter and assistant editor Roger DuPuis returned to take the reins as news editor under Soprano’s leadership.
More changes and additions followed.
In February, the Times Leader completed its planned move to new headquarters in its renovated facility on East Market Street, keeping the paper in downtown Wilkes-Barre with all main departments under one roof.
Then, in late spring, the paper introduced a number of new features, including its Augmented Reality feature to engage print readers with digital content, its expanded Monday Business page, a millennial life column by reporter Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence and a Tuesday political column by DuPuis.
Value for advertisers
The changes and readership gains also benefit advertisers who rely on Times Leader products to promote their businesses.
“This research is a testament to all the positive changes we have made,” said Times Leader Media Group Advertising Director Kerry O’Neil Miscavage.
“Our advertisers are seeing more results now due to the creative solutions and flexibility we provide,” she added. “Because of our local decision-making capabilities, we can really make things happen quickly.”
Advertising partners agree.
“Advertising with the Times Leader Media Group works for us because their commitment to the community ensures that our message is heard by readers who want to know about the exciting things happening in our valley,” said Christian Wielage, of the Irem Temple Restoration Project. “Our campaign has unquestionably impacted our ability to spread our mission and gain momentum on making our project a success. We are extremely grateful for their excellent customer service and support.”
Susan Parrick, director of marketing and sales for Stauffer Pointe, explained how multi-platform advertising methods have benefited her business.
“In today’s world, it takes the right combination of digital, social and traditional marketing techniques to help stand out among the competition. The marketing pros at the Times Leader Media Group understand this strategy,” Parrick said. “Our relationship has been one I continue to count on toward reaching my professional goals, in my eleventh year as a real estate industry marketing professional.”
In Murray’s eyes, the message is clear.
“We’ve listened to your ideas and we continually make changes to make the experience better for everyone,” he said. “People have come to rely on the Times Leader as the news provider in Luzerne County. Leadership is about listening and then providing. We are proud to be able to serve you every day of the week, every week of the year.”