Royal engagement fails to provide newspaper lift

Prince William's proposal to Kate Middleton failed to benefit national daily newspapers in November, with every title except the Daily Mail and Financial Times registering record six-month-low circulations.

Royal engaement: fails to boosts newspaper sales
Royal engaement: fails to boosts newspaper sales

While the inclement weather in late November is likely to have hit newspaper-buying habits, executives will be alarmed that a major event such as the impending nuptials of Prince William, coupled with major news stories including Ireland’s financial crisis, resulted in such a poor November.

According to November's Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABCs), the biggest losers during the month were the red-tops, led by Richard Desmond’s Daily Star, which was down 4.64% on October to 756,686 copies. This could be partly explained by Desmond’s decision to stop price-promoting the title.

The Daily Mirror fell 3.8% to 1,177,629 copies, while The Sun nudged down just 0.21% to 2,898,113 copies.

The Daily Mail, like a number of its rivals, attempted to cash in on public fervour around the forthcoming wedding, by offering its readers a free Royal Doulton plate to mark the engagement. The Mail was down 1.34% to 2,100,855 copies, while mid-market rival The Daily Express fell 0.47% to 639,690.

The Independent’s decision not to splash on Prince William’s proposal – it opted for Ireland’s banking crisis – appeared to have little impact. The newspaper registered a six-month low circulation of 177,636 (down 2.62% on the month).

Similarly, The Daily Telegraph recorded a circulation of 652,762 (down 0.34%), while The Guardian was down 2.11% to 270,582.

The Times, meanwhile, fell 2.67% to 466,311, and has now lost circulation in every consecutive month since News International began its much-heralded to change for online access to the Times website.

In November, every national newspaper was down year on year, with The Times falling a precipitous 17.21% from November 2009.

The Pearson-owned Financial Times countered the general run of the market – its circulation of 44,699 was its second highest since June.

Click here to view the full newspaper ABC figures for November 2010.

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