According to the ABC's UK National Newspapers report for March 2012, The Sun had an average circulation of 2,426,894 for the five editions between 27 February and 1 April 2012, down 24.5% from the February figure.
News International (NI) made the shock announcement on 19 February that it was going to launch a Sunday edition of The Sun, and the one edition that was sold during the ABC's February audit had a circulation of 3,213,613.
Although the Daily Star Sunday recorded the biggest year-on-year rise in circulation in March, and has benefited from NI's closure of the News of the World since July, the launch of The Sun in February appears to have hit the paper’s circulation.
The Daily Star Sunday had an average circulation of 483,477 copies in March, up 64.7% year on year, but down 19.3% month on month, suggesting the launch of the Sunday edition of The Sun has cost the Northern & Shell paper readers.
Trinity Mirror's newspapers also appear to have suffered from The Sun's Sunday tabloid launch – both the Sunday Mirror and The People lost around a third of their circulation between February and March.
The Sunday Mirror had an average circulation of 1,106,259 in March, a decline of 30.6% compared to February 2012, but up 4.1% year on year. The People had a circulation of 463,936, down 33.8% from February and 2.9% year on year.
The Mail on Sunday, which initially benefited from the closure of the News of the World, had an average weekly circulation of 1,824,965 in March, down 3.3% year on year and 3.1% month on month.
The Independent on Sunday reported the biggest year-on-year decline in circulation of all the Sunday newspapers, down 18.5% to 124,921 copies, although this was a 0.5% increase on its circulation in February.
Guardian News & Media's Sunday newspaper The Observer also reported a double-digit decline. The paper had an average weekly circulation of 251,074 in March, down 15.2% year on year, although this was a modest 0.8% decline month on month.
The Sunday Times reported a circulation of 928,260, down 10.0% year on year and 1.3% month on month, while The Sunday Telegraph reported a circulation of 451,731, down 6.3% year on year and 2.1% month on month.
|National newspaper ABC figures: Sunday titles|
|The Mail on||1,824,965||1,882,469||1,888,040||84,539||100,642|
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This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk