QUESTION: Alternative Publication Print Runs

The Indypendent, the newspaper of the New York City IMC, is planning to print 200,000 copies of its next issue and over 400,000 copies total this month. When was the last time an alternative newspaper printed that many copies?

ANSWER: Alternative Press Print Runs

I haven't had any luck finding any more information about large,
single-issue press runs in the manner you're describing the Indypendent
intends to produce. I've spoken to the publisher and he says this is far
and away the largest they have ever done, as their normal press run is
approximately 25,000. I also spoke to Alan Bisbort, a writer for the
Advocate who has written in alternative publications for years. It is his
opinion that even in the day of the largest distributions of the L.A. Free
Press, Great Speckled Bird, and the Village Voice, the print runs were
around 100,000 in their best years. As the curator for the Alternative
Press here, I don't know of many titles in the collection that would have
had the ability to produce that many, especially considering that
Indypendent intends to distribute this free of charge, so there is no
financial benefit to the publication. I also don't know if the Chicago Seed
produced extra issues for the "68 Democratic National Convention but I doubt
any additional issues would have come close to these numbers. If you're
writing about the intended press run, you might be able to say that the size
of the press run is *arguably* the largest produced for a single event.

Sorry I can't give better information. If there's anything else I can do
please don't hesitate to call or write. Good luck.


Terri J. Goldich
Curator, Alternative Press Collection
Archives & Special Collections
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
405 Babbidge Road
University of Connecticut Unit 1205

ANSWER: Circulation figures from Ulrich's 1969-1970

Circulation figures for the largest "underground" press publications: Ulrich's Interational Periodicals Directory, 13th ed., 1969-70.

For this edition of Ulrich's, at p.786, under "Literary and Political Review," the circulation figure for Village Voice is 130,000, and it is 85,000 for LA Free Press. Ulrich's circulation figure appears to provide the only available information of its kind, whatever its deficiencies. There are also entries for Berkeley Barb and the Haight Ashbury Tribune, but they do not identify circulation figures.

(answer from mginsborg)