Broadsheets outperformed the popular press during September, as
demand for newspapers grew across the board after the death of Diana,
Princess of Wales.
Figures revealed this week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations showed an
overall sales increase of 6.2 per cent for all newspapers.
However, the alleged role of paparazzi in the car crash which killed
Princess Diana, Dodi Al Fayed and the driver of the car, sparked a
backlash against the popular papers, reflected in the fact that
newspapers such as the Guardian and the Independent stormed ahead with
increases of 10.6 per cent and 11.8 per cent respectively, while the Sun
rose by just 0.6 per cent and the Mirror by 2.8 per cent.
The Independent’s figures, however, also reflect the week-long price
reduction to 20p from 16 September following its relaunch.
Sunday newspapers did even better, with the Observer up 19.7 per cent,
the Independent on Sunday up 13 per cent and the Sunday Times up 11.5
per cent. The Express on Sunday also performed extraordinarily well, up
just over 10 per cent.
The only daily newspapers to experience a fall in sales were the Daily
Star, the Racing Post and the Sporting Life.
Nine months on from its intensive rejuvenation programme, the Mirror
appears to have reversed the long-term trend of declining sales. It has
made consistent increases in circulation since June.
The Mirror Group hopes to build on this new-found stability by investing
in a new Saturday magazine, the Look, which it launched last week, and
by continuing with a heavyweight branding campaign.
The Mirror’s editor, Piers Morgan, admitted: ’Saturday is the real
battle and, to be fair, we have had our arse kicked there. We were
woefully small in terms of pagination and what we offered. The Mail and
the Express have powered through that market.’