Where did all that circulation all go this time? Certainly, many dropped subscriptions because of the whole free news ecosystem. But it’s equally certain that many dropped subscriptions because of the whole “why buy the cow” thing. It’s common sense and it’s basic economics.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.