San Diego Business Journal

The Union-Tribune carriers have fewer papers to throw these days.

The San Diego Union-Tribune's paid weekday circulation slipped 3 percent to 269,819 on Sept. 30, from 278,176 the same year-ago day, the Audit Bureau of Circulation reported on Oct. 27.

The Union-Tribune's Sunday circulation was off 3 percent to 342,384 from 359,364, while Saturday circulation declined 3.3 percent to 317,855 from 328,991.

Circulation for its Enlace, a Spanish-language publication was not counted in the ABC report because it is a free weekly distributed in the county's Hispanic communities and in Tijuana.

Neither was that of Today's Local News, a free paper distributed Wednesday and Sunday in North County.

On Sept. 30, 2005, the Union-Tribune's weekday circulation stood at 314,279 according to the ABC, while Sunday circulation was 416,682 and Saturday's was 362,388.

The Union-Tribune, which put itself up for sale in July, has yet to land a buyer.

Within the last two years it has pared its employee roster through early retirement offers, buyouts and layoffs.

The La Jolla-based parent company, the Copley Press, also sold nine of its newspapers, seven dailies and two weeklies in Illinois and Ohio for $380 million.

The Daily Breeze of Torrance, also a Copley Paper, was sold for an undisclosed price to the Hearst Corp. in collaboration with Media News Group of Denver.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, 507 metro dailies that reported their numbers for the six-months ending Sept. 30 had an overall weekday decline of 4.6 percent to 38.2 million copies.

, Connie Lewis