updated 10/9/2009 2:33:19 PM ET 2009-10-09T18:33:19

USA Today is expecting to report a 17 percent decline in circulation. That would be its largest drop ever.

While most large newspapers are struggling to keep print subscribers and newsstand sales, USA Today is also being slammed by the slump in travel. Many of the newspaper's sales come in hotels and airports.

USA Today's publisher, David Hunke, told staff about the circulation plunge in a memo Friday. From April through September, the average daily circulation at the Gannett Co.-owned newspaper was 1.88 million. That amounted to 398,000 fewer copies than in the same period of 2008.

The figures for USA Today and other newspapers are due to be released Oct. 26 by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The decline was reported earlier by Editor & Publisher.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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