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U.S. newsstands sold fewer magazines in the first half of 2006 compared with a year ago, data showed on Monday, as some markets were saturated with too many offerings while others had to compete with the Web.

Newsstand, or "single-copy," sales of magazines fell more than 4 percent to about 48.7 million copies in the first half of 2006, according to preliminary figures provided by U.S. magazine publishers to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Among U.S. news weeklies, Time magazine reported the biggest fall in newsstand sales of 24 percent. The magazine, owned by Time Warner Inc.'s Time Inc., plans to move its publication day to Friday from Monday to attract more readers on the weekend and boost sales.

Magazine sales have fallen because many readers are spending more time on the Internet, and because of a thicket of similarly-themed titles, said Samir Husni, chairman of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi.