In addition they had the answer if they had just looked at their history. Every time they faced dwindling circulation they just dropped the price, and boom, circulation went up.
They may not be making as much per paper, but they sold shed loads more which in turned generated healthier profits
You cannot really look at history to judge what's happening now. The reason these things are failing is because there are better sources for news. And it's impossible to compete with free. Newspapers cannot afford to drop their price that much.
As for comics, they cannot really go back to cheaper paper. Their creators cannot really work cheaper. Etc.