The regional newspaper industry saw sales slide again in last week's ABCs, with even the most robust sectors showing year-on-year declines.
The regional weekly sector have posted small year-on-year increases in the past three July-to-December releases, but this year saw circulation drop by 0.6 per cent.
Morning papers managed to slow the rate of last year's decline from 3.7 to 2.1 per cent, as did Sunday papers, which dropped 5.2 per cent compared with the 6.6 per cent decline recorded a year ago.
The slide increased for evening newspapers, which dropped 2.3 per cent year on year, amid speculation that the expansion of Associated Newspapers' Metro titles is cannibalising the sector's readers across the country.
The morning sector was buoyed by The Scotsman, Irish News, Paisley Daily Express and the Daily Record. Of the English regional morning papers, only the Birmingham Post's Saturday edition posted any increase: a 3.4 per cent rise period on period.
The evening sector saw 18 per cent of titles posting a circulation increase, compared with 30 per cent last year.
Chris Stanley, the Newspaper Society's marketing director, said: 'Today's results should be placed in the context of the overall fragmentation of the media market. As a result, individual titles, stations and channels are inevitably delivering smaller audiences. However, the regional publishers overall are reaching larger audiences, spread over an increasing range of products.'