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Globe, newspapers across

US see circulation fall

The Globe’s daily circulation fell 23.2 percent to 232,432 in the six-month period that ended in March, compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Globe’s Sunday circulation dropped 18.8 percent to 378,949. Weekday circulation at the Herald fell 12 percent to 132,551, while Sunday declined 4.6 percent to 91,040.

The Globe’s publisher, Christopher M. Mayer, said in a memo to the paper’s staff that the lower circulation numbers were expected after the company raised prices last summer in most areas by 30 percent to 50 percent to boost revenue.

In contrast to print circulation, he said, local traffic at the Globe’s website, Boston.com, rose 16 percent.

United-Continental talks stalled over share prices

Merger talks between United Airlines and Continental Airlines reached an impasse during the weekend over a disagreement about the price of a deal, people involved in the negotiations said Sunday.

More specifically, the two companies have not been able to reach an agreement over the value of the stock prices used to compute the exchange ratio in a stock-for-stock deal, these people said. The ratio would affect the price United would ultimately pay for the deal.

Many other elements of a potential merger had already been agreed upon, including keeping the United name. The companies had also settled on naming United’s chief, Glenn Tilton, as chairman and Continental’s chief, Jeffery Smisek, as chief executive of the combined airline.

But one person involved in the discussions described the disagreement over the stock ratio as a potential deal-breaker, though the companies are continuing to negotiate. The chief executives of the two airlines spoke with each other Friday and Saturday about the exact ratio of shares that United planned to pay for Continental, these people said. It was their first discussion about a stock exchange ratio since the two airlines resumed merger talks more than a week ago.

Graham pulls support for
Senate climate bill

WASHINGTON – In a move that may derail a comprehensive climate change and energy bill in the Senate, one of the measure’s central architects, Sen. Lindsey Graham, has issued an angry protest over what he says are Democratic plans to give priority to a debate over immigration policy.

Graham, R-S.C., said in a sharply worded letter on Saturday that he would no longer participate in negotiations on the energy bill, throwing its already cloudy prospects deeper into doubt. He had been working for months with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., on the legislation, which they were scheduled to announce with considerable fanfare on Monday morning. That announcement has been indefinitely postponed.

In his letter to his two colleagues, Graham said that he was troubled by reports that the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and the White House were planning to take up an immigration measure before the energy bill. Graham has worked with Democrats in the past on immigration matters and was expected to be an important bridge to Republicans on that issue, as well as on energy.