Top 25 U.S. Newspapers on Facebook

While Google PageRank is an accurate gauge of authority on the Web, it doesn’t tell us much about how much people ‘Like’ a newspaper. When it comes to ‘Likes’, Facebook is the authority. It took a little (okay, a lot of) trial and error to find the Facebook Pages for each of the Top 25 U.S. newspapers (you’d be surprised how hard some of the top 25 make it to find), but alas here’s the list of the Top 25 U.S. Newspapers ranked by the number of Facebook Friends (‘Likes’) each newspaper has (click the link to visit the newspaper’s Facebook Page):

  1. The New York Times – 781,655
  2. The Wall Street Journal140,515
  3. The Washington Post68,152
  4. The Denver Post30,690
  5. USA Today28,332
  6. The Los Angeles Times 20,715
  7. The Chicago Tribune 19,448
  8. The Arizona Republic 18,002
  9. The New York Post8,087
  10. The San Francisco Chronicle8,051
  11. The New York Daily News7,376
  12. The Cleveland Plain Dealer5,996
  13. The Houston Chronicle5,486
  14. The San Jose Mercury News 5,417
  15. The Detroit Free Press5,379
  16. Newsday5,092
  17. St. Petersburg Times4,538
  18. The StarTribune3,563
  19. The Dallas Morning News3,498
  20. The Seattle Timesseattletimes    3,112
  21. The San Diego Union-Tribune2,822
  22. Philadelphia Inquirer2,100
  23. The Oregonian1,890
  24. The Chicago Sun-Times1,837
  25. The Oakland Tribune 1,132
  26. The Contra Costa Times971
  27. The Tampa Tribune – 625
  28. The Star-Ledger372

Once again, The New York Times demolishes the competition online, with five times the Likes as The Wall Street Journal. On the other end of the scale, it would appear Facebook is a low priority for The Star-Ledger, with only 372 Likes. Of course, this could be an error on my part – they could a more popular, but harder-to-find Page… but that seems unlikely.At least the The Star-Ledger has a vanity URL – that shows somebody at the newspaper is paying attention to social media trends. The Detroit Free Press on the other hand was the only newspaper from the top 25 that doesn’t have a vanity URL.

I was pretty surprised to see The Denver Post has more Likes than USA Today, but that’s probably because USA Today is one of the only newspapers to NOT have a ‘friend us on Facebook’ option on its homepage.

On this point, I was happy to see that most of the Top 25 have integrated social media into their homepages (again, surprised there’s not much on the USA Today homepage – but there is on the interior pages). Most of the newspapers have a link to Twitter or Facebook from the homepage, with many integrating several of Facebook’s tools into their website, giving users the ability to Like content or sign-in with their Facebook accounts.

Overall, it seems like newspapers have been slower to adopt Facebook when compared to Twitter. When it comes to Twitter, the Top 25 excel. Learn more about how top U.S. newspapers stack up when ranked by Twitter followers in our next post.

About Jeremy Porter 214 Articles
Jeremy Porter has been passionate about the intersection of public relations and journalism since studying both Public Relations and Journalism at Utica College of Syracuse University in the late 90s. Porter launched Journalistics in 2009 to share his ideas and insights around both professions and how trends and developments in modern day marketing, communications, and technology impact those working in these fields. Porter also values the traditions and history of both professions and regularly shares his perspective in these areas - and related topics geared toward the next generation of journalism and public relations professionals.


    • It’s not a ranking of top newspapers by FB fans, but rather a re-ranking of the top 25 newspapers by circulation (using FB likes as the measurement instead). Thanks for the additional information though.

  1. Albany Times Union – 4,007

    Connecticut Post – 1,575

    Also, the Houston Chronicle has 2 FB accounts – one under and one other the Chronicle brand. The combined fans total more than 10,000

  2. This lists the number of Facebook followers for the top 25 newspapers by circulation. None of the papers you mention is in that group.

  3. As I read the list of the newspapers by ABC audited ciruclation, The Boston Globe ranks #24 M-F and #18 on Sunday. Can you please include usin your analysis?

    1 WALL STREET JOURNAL 2,092,523

    2 USA TODAY 1,826,622

    3 N. Y. TIMES 951,063

    4 L. A. TIMES 616,606

    5 WASHINGTON POST 578,482

    6 N.Y. NEWS 535,059

    7 N.Y. POST 525,004

    8 CHICAGO TRIBUNE 452,145


    10 PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER (a) 356,189

    11 PHOENIX REPUBLIC 351,207

    12 LONG ISLAND NEWSDAY 334,809

    13 DENVER POST (a) 333,675


    15 ST PETERSBURG TIMES 278,888

    16 CHICAGO SUN TIMES 268,803



    18 SEATTLE TIMES (a) 263,468

    19 DALLAS MORNING NEWS 260,659

    20 DETROIT FREE PRESS 252,017

    21 SAN DIEGO UNION TRIB 249,630


    23 NEWARK STAR LEDGER 236,017

    24 BOSTON GLOBE 232,432

    25 KANSAS CITY STAR 216,446

    • I just looked for each newspaper’s primary webpage (the way any user would). From there, I looked at the number of Likes each page had – I did it all within the same hour, to have as close a comparison as possible. Thanks.

  4. Would be interesting to see a list of top newspapers on Facebook, regardless of print circulation. Several smaller papers, including the one I work at, would be on this list.

    Robert Quigley
    Social media editor
    Austin American-Statesman

    • Any interest in taking on a guest post on that exact topic? I’d love to see that too. I wonder if such a list already exists?

  5. At 7404 The Detroit News out preforms several larger circ newspapers. I think what might be interesting is to look at how successful newspapers are engaging an audience through social media. Maybe as a percentage of circ.

  6. The link that you put for the Tampa Tribune is actually or the St. Pete Times. I was wondering if you just used the wrong link or misidentified the newspaper?

    • You are correct. Could I make more mistakes on this post? I’ve made the correction – I thought I was pretty thorough on this one.

  7. Jeremy,

    This is interesting, and a nice confidence boost for some medium- to small-sized papers who have more followers than the “big guys.”

    A side-by-side comparison of Top 25 by circ v. Top 25 by Fans would be interesting follow-up. The Palm Beach Post (10,700+) and our sister paper in Austin, as noted by Rob above, would likely be in the running. Allison from the AJC makes a good point, too, that many papers have multiple pages.

    Unfortunately, that just makes your job harder. 🙂

    Michelle Licudine
    Digital Audience Director
    The Palm Beach Post

    • I’ve addressed this a bit, but this is not a ranking of all newspapers on Facebook – rather, it’s the top 25 by circulation, resorted by Facebook. Thanks.

  8. The Vallejo Times-Herald in Vallejo, CA now has nearly 4,100 Facebook fans and about 2,200 facebook friends. Our newspaper circulation, by contrast, is about 16,000. Our totals are higher than most of California’s larger newspapers (San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, etc…. ) Our page has been up for just over a year, compared to some that have been up for twice as long. check out

    • Thanks for sharing the information Ted. The Facebook and Twitter posts both looked at the Top 25 Newspapers (by circulation), reordered by Fans or Followers.

  9. Many smaller circulation papers have more “likes” than those in your ” top 25. For example, The (Alton, IL) Telegraph has more than 3,500.

  10. This study is meaningless, because it only concerns facebook folks, and only the ones that favor newsites. Lots of people do not use facebook.

    • I agree with you. That was the general consensus when I wrote the post, but if I’m completely honest, the point of the post was to generate some discussion around the growing audiences on Facebook vs. traditional circulation. We’ve moved far beyond that now in 2015. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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