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The Boston Globe

Business

Web subscribers boost Globe’s circulation 3%

New digital subscriptions pushed daily paid circulation at The Boston Globe up 3 percent during the six-month period that ended in September, the fourth consecutive period of growth for the media outlet, according to figures released Thursday by the Alliance for Audited Media.

Average weekday circulation was 253,371, with digital subscribers accounting for 86,566 of the total, and a slightly higher figure on Sunday. The number of people paying for access to the Globe’s electronic editions and to BostonGlobe.com increased by 13,913, or 19 percent, which offsets a decline in print-only circulation.

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In the last year, the paper’s digital subscription base has shot up by 77 percent, and overall weekday circulation has increased 10 percent — the seventh-highest growth rate among US daily newspapers.

The digital category encompasses digital-only subscribers, as well as readers who purchase print and electronic bundles.

“It’s encouraging to see that the audience for the Globe’s award-winning journalism continues to grow,” said publisher Christopher M. Mayer.

Sunday circulation increased to 384,930, 3 percent greater than a year ago.

The Globe’s increases continued what is now a two-year stretch of recovery that followed circulation drops in every six-month reporting period from 2004 to 2011. The Globe ranks 18th in the country in total weekday circulation volume and 20th in Sunday circulation.

At The Boston Herald, weekday circulation declined to 88,052, a 9 percent decrease from the previous year, and Sunday circulation fell 8 percent, to 71,918.

Also on Thursday, The New York Times Co. said the sale of its New England Media Group, which included The Globe, to John W. Henry resulted in a third-quarter loss of $24.2 million, or 16 cents per share. Henry paid $70 million for the media group, which included the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com.

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