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The future of the print edition of USA Today is periled further by the fact that nearly two-thirds of its readership consists of free copies dropped outside of hotel rooms, given away at businesses or handed out to students….Fully 52% of USA Today’s circulation goes to hotels, which purchase copies at deeply discounted rates as an amenity for their guests.
While a few hotels charge guests for delivering the paper to their rooms, most provide it for free. How long will hoteliers spend money to put the paper in front of rooms at night and pick up abandoned copies the next morning – especially when they can charge $15 a day for Internet access, so busy executives can check the weather and hometown news on their own mobile devices? Acting in concert or individually, a handful of hotel executives could wipe out the preponderance of the paper’s circulation overnight.