Reflecting national newspaper trends and the likely effect of a price increase, The Inquirer and the Daily News lost circulation for the six-month period ended Sept. 30, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The ABC said daily circulation at the Inquirer declined 11 percent to 300,674 copies; Sunday circulation fell 13.7 percent to 556,426. At the Daily News, circulation dropped 13.2 percent to 97,694 copies.

However, online readership has grown steadily. On Philly.com, the Web site for the two newspapers, page views increased from 33.2 million in September 2007 to 45.3 million in September of this year, a 36 percent increase. The number of unique visitors to the site increased from a monthly tally of 3 million to 5.1 million last month.

Inquirer publisher Brian Tierney said that, besides the subscription and newsstand price increases, cutbacks in promotional programs also contributed to the declines.

"The key thing is, we decided to raise the price of the product, and the bottom line is that our circulation revenue is up," Tierney said. "That is one of the real bright spots over this period."

Across the nation, daily newspaper circulation was down an average of 4.6 percent daily and 4.8 percent Sunday.