Red-tops see readership levels tumble but quality titles are on the up

LONDON - Declining readership of red-top tabloids led to an overall downturn in readership of national newspaper during the third quarter of 2005.

Readership of The Sun, the newspaper with the largest number of readers in the UK, plummeted by 712,000 in the year ending September 2005. Its total readership was 8,157,000 according to the National Readership Survey.

The Daily Mirror's readership fell by 519,000 to 4,214,000 across the same period and the Daily Star's by 110,000 to 1,825,000, according to the NRS.

However, readership of quality titles including The Guardian, The Independent and The Times was on the increase. The Times posted the largest readership increase in the quality market, adding 152,000 readers with a total of 1,781,000.

The Daily Mail, the country's second most read daily title, recorded a readership increase of 17,000 to 5,682,000.

Trends were similar in the Sunday market, with readership of red-tops generally down and quality titles such as The Sunday Times, The Observer and The Independent showing good increases.

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