A publisher’s statement printed in Tuesday’s edition of The Villages Daily Sun shows the newspaper’s circulation has dipped.
It also reaffirmed the Morse family’s ownership of the newspaper.
The “Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation” appeared in 6-point type buried in the back of Tuesday’s Sports section.
It stated the newspaper’s daily circulation as of Sept. 26 is 43,610. The publisher’s statement from Sept. 25, 2016 indicated a daily circulation of 44,936. The publisher’s statement from Oct. 1, 2014 indicated a daily circulation of 43,938.
According to the Villages District Office, there are 65,000 homes in The Villages. Last week, Sumter County officials proudly announced that 3,000 residents per year are moving into the county.
The Daily Sun publisher’s statements would seem to indicate that the newspaper is struggling to capture the growth as older readers die off and newer digitally inclined residents move into the mega-retirement community.
Many of the Daily Sun copies that are counted as paid circulation aren’t going to homes, but rather are complimentary copies made available through the sales centers and businesses such as Citizens First Bank.
Meanwhile, the cost of the Daily Sun continues to climb. The 2018 publisher’s statement lists the annual price at $71.96, up from $59.99 in 2016.
The publisher’s statement lists the “owner” of The Villages Daily Sun as The Villages Operating Company and the statement names Mark Morse, Jennifer Parr and Tracy Mathews at their 3619 Kiessel Road office in Brownwood.