Weekly regional newspapers recorded much healthier circulation
increases from January to June than regional dailies and Sundays,
according to the latest round of ABC figures - the first concurrent
release of free and paid-for regional titles to date.
But overall, regional newspaper circulation continued to fall
Circulation for the first six months of this year took a slight hit,
dropping by 1.2 per cent year on year. Over the same six months last
year, the figure fell by 0.5 per cent year on year, and the decrease
from 1996 to 1997 was 1.1 per cent.
Sunday newspapers suffered the biggest declines, with overall
circulation dropping by 4.8 per cent year on year. Morning newspapers
fell by 1.9 per cent, evenings took a 1.7 per cent hit, and only
weeklies increased overall sales, by a mere 0.3 per cent.
While 56 per cent of all regional newspapers enjoyed circulation
increases, a greater proportion of weeklies saw an upturn than any other
Of these, 61 per cent experienced higher circulations against the same
period last year. Only 36 per cent of Sundays and 31 per cent of morning
newspapers increased their circulations.
Chris Stanley, marketing director of the Newspaper Society, said:
’Considering the continued explosion of media choice, the regional press
is doing very well to offer a stable and massive audience.
’Regional publishers are also attracting significant numbers to their
burgeoning websites, thereby increasing the aggregate audience they can
deliver to advertisers.’
The Aberdeen Press & Journal and the Birmingham Evening Mail were the
highest-ranking morning and evening papers respectively.