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ABCs: All the figures for regional dailies

ABClogo-e1424873874120The Lancashire Telegraph was the best-performing UK regional daily in the first half of 2015 according to the regional ABC figures published today.

It was the only regional daily to post a year-on-year increase in print circulation at 1.6pc.

Channel Island dailies the Guernsey Press & Star (-3.7pc) and Jersey Evening Post (-3.9pc) registered the next best performances over the same period.

Here are the print circulation figures for UK regional dailies ranked according to the year-on-year circulation change.

Total Y-on-Y % % Paid for
Lancashire Telegraph 13,304 1.6 87.8
Guernsey Press & Star 13,197 -3.7 89.6
Jersey Evening Post 15,002 -3.9 95.5
Norwich Evening News 10,531 -4.8 100
Colchester Daily Gazette 11,058 -5.5 99.8
Irish News 37,666 -5.7 99.3
Aberdeen Press & Journal 58,502 -5.9 99.2
Eastern Daily Press 39,821 -6.6 99.7
Ipswich Star 12,174 -7 67.9
The Echo (Southend, Basildon, Castle Point) 21,352 -7 99.9
Carlisle News and Star (West) 3,244 -7.5 100
Plymouth Herald 20,139 -7.5 100
Swindon Advertiser 11,056 -7.8 100
Dundee – The Courier 45,064 -7.9 99.5
Oxford Mail 11,770 -7.9 100
Belfast Telegraph 44,141 -8.1 77.4
South Wales Argus 12,110 -8.2 100
South Wales Evening Post 26,144 -8.2 100
Dundee Evening Telegraph 18,078 -8.5 99.8
Dorset Echo 12,131 -8.6 100
Worcester News 8,113 -8.7 100
The Herald 34,379 -8.9 100
East Anglian Daily Times 18,802 -9 100
Edinburgh Evening News 23,550 -9.1 97.7
Bournemouth Daily Echo 16,395 -9.2 100
News Letter, Belfast 17,511 -9.3 99.1
The Northern Echo 27,819 -9.5 100
Carlisle News and Star (East) 8,043 -9.6 100
The Bolton News 11,157 -9.7 100
Southern Daily Echo 20,211 -9.8 100
Hull Daily Mail 31,601 -10 100
Bristol Post 22,667 -10 96
Yorkshire Post 27,903 -10.1 95.3
Wigan Evening Post 4,036 -10.1 100
Glasgow Evening Times 29,951 -10.3 100
The Sentinel, Stoke 33,426 -10.8 100
North West Evening Mail 9,513 -11.2 100
Aberdeen Evening Express 30,929 -11.4 99.5
The Argus, Brighton 12,736 -11.4 98.1
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 16,737 -11.5 100
The Press, York 17,342 -11.7 100
Lancashire Evening Post 13,129 -11.9 100
Oldham Evening Chronicle 8,663 -11.9 99.8
Shropshire Star 32,340 -12 100
Nottingham Post 20,577 -12.6 97.7
Sheffield Star 20,305 -12.6 100
The Scotsman 23,782 -12.6 89.8
Leicester Mercury 30,448 -13 98.4
Express & Star, Wolverhampton 67,276 -13.1 88.2
Derby Telegraph 21,889 -13.2 99.2
The News, Portsmouth 24,251 -13.2 100
The Gazette, Blackpool 12,216 -13.8 100
Hartlepool Mail 7,435 -15.7 100
Yorkshire Evening Post 20,093 -16.1 100
Paisley Daily Express 5,387 -16.8 100
Sunderland Echo 16,894 -17.7 99.7
Shields Gazette 8,178 -19.1 100
Doncaster Star 767 -25.2 100

52 comments

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  • August 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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    The Yorkshire Evening Post is being outsold by the Sheffield Star and the Nottingham Telegraph.
    I hope that someone, somewhere, who realises how serious that is, is doing something about it.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm
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    It’s not a list of ALL UK regional dailies as two are missing.

    Where are the figures for the Western Daily Press, and the Western Morning News?

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  • August 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm
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    YEP at 20,000 per day!

    We know it’s coming but still shocking to see.

    Really sad to see the unavoidable death spiral coming to its conclusion.

    There are going to be some massive changes in the next 5 years

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  • August 26, 2015 at 2:37 pm
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    Just how far have Archants dreadful EDP and NEN got to fall before Mssrs Bax and Henry take direct action and pull the plug on these two dying titles which have become, like mustard TV before them, an Embarassment and financial risk to the business?
    Successive huge readership losses upon huge losses have resulted in the once credible and popular EDP nosediving to little over 39,000 copies, an all time low and a staggering fall in such a short period of time.
    Continuing to prop up these two ailing titles and throwing good money after bad to keep them going must have serious implications on the overall state of the business?
    Yet the same editorial people are in charge and plod on regardless with a ‘crisis? What crisis? attitude seemingly unconcerned that the EDPs reputation as a credible news and advertising medium is allowed to crash and burn so dramatically. The evening news lost what little credibility it had long ago and it’s staggering 10,500 copies must be the final nail in its coffin I would imagine, there is no business case that can be made to keeping these two papers going at a time when ad revenues are down,costs remain high and shareholders are being more and more concerned about the state of the budhbessbusiness.

    Enoughs enough,action is needed now. unless part of the plan to make archant ‘the leading regional press group in the UK ‘ involves allowing the newspaper side of the company to be run into the ground to make way for new media opportunities of which the two Norwich dailies and dying county weeklies are not part of the plan.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 2:49 pm
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    As a passionate supporter of newspapers I’m very saddened to see so many dips in circulation. Perhaps newspapers need to attract new readers, for example, people from minority communities where there are substantial ethnic groups.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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    Even the supposed good news on the Lancashire Telegraph is grim once you analyse the figures.

    It has gone from 12,814 at 97.7% paid for to 13,304 at 87.8% in the space of the last audit.

    That means it’s gone from selling 12,519 six months ago to 11,680 now, losing nearly 900 sales.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 3:41 pm
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    Wait until the next set of Trinity Mirror print sales are out. That will be an eye-opener!

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  • August 26, 2015 at 3:43 pm
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    It is truly sad to see once highly respected and massive-sales daily papers like the Brighton Argus (12, 736) and Lancs Evening Post (13,000) reduced to this level and still dropping. It makes the creepy idea that JP and Newsquest , in the case of JPs similarly diminished southern papers, might merge not seem so far fetched.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm
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    Juan Archant speaks from the heart but he’s wrong on the “business case” front for the two Norfolk papers. Look at the accounts, Juan. They still make money. In the case of the EDP, yes it has lost many thousands of readers but hey, join the club. Who hasn’t? Archant once famously doctored its sales figures but at least they now give it straight ( I hope). And 39,000 is a major player in these times. I hold no candle for Archant or the EDP, and Mustard TV is a terrible flop, but getting rid of the two Norwich-based dailies? I don’t think so.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 4:27 pm
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    Just when I thought I couldn’t be shocked by the dire state of Archants newspaper portfolio I am staggered and speechless at just how far the EDP and NEN have fallen in the last six months and at how so few people are buying these papers anymore, both lame shadows of once proud and respected regional dailies and long gone flag ships of the Archant fleet now reduced to rusting hulks that no ones interested in anymore.
    Shocking ABCs, all time low copy sales and a wake up call for the board to take action and look long and hard at those on who’s watch this has been allowed to happen,
    Shows what happens when the business allows a yes man culture top heavy with ‘managers’ to thrive and at a time when drive,direction and new, business minded thinking are needed. There’s plenty of successful competitors out there who they could consult if they want proper business advice many ,in my experience, former Archant employees who will no doubt be making hay with these statistics to their own advantage , figures that archant will not want made public.

    I am genuinely shocked and stunned at how far these dailies have fallen on the back of recent dreadful ABC figures and thinking the sales figures couldn’t get any worse.

    Alarm Bells must be ringing loud and long at prospect House , a sadly ironic name for Archants HQ.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 4:31 pm
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    Bill, it is, shall we say, interesting that the Cambridge News and Burton Mail are both Local World enterprises.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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    12,000 IPSWICH STAR sold
    18,800 copies of the EADT
    38,000 EDP and 10,500 for the Norwich evening news are jaw dropping to say the least.

    A total collapse of Archants daily paper portfolio and one that must cause grave concern at board level and unease at ground level with employees wondering how worse it can get before announcements are made, no business can sustain such heavy losses to its core products without serious fall out.

    Add in the dreadful ad revenue performance, the almost non existent digital revenues, the Mustrd TV fiasco and the number of competitor titles that have sprung up and thriving on Archants patch and the picture is grim.
    If that’s not a company in crisis and an implosion waiting to happen then I don’t know what is?

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  • August 26, 2015 at 5:31 pm
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    Idle rich
    It’s about how much money Archant can keep throwing at the EDP/EN and MTV and for how long just to keep them going .
    None are profitable, Simon Bax said as much in his recent speech at the shareholders meeting saying that the company had made a modest profit ‘ once selling off magazines had been taken into account’and as such are a drain and complete risk to the core of the rest of the business.

    Many competitors are taking Archants revenues and alternate sources of instant news have replaced the need for traditional daily papers, particularly in a rural county such as Norfolk making the two Norwich dailies non players In the market yet carrying huge overheads just to keep them going.
    A recent cover price hike was seen as a success in clawing revenue from an existing source ( existing readers ) which in itself says a lot about the extent of Archants business model if this is the only way to balance the books.
    doesn’t make any sense to me to throw good money after bad at a time when all costs and overheads are being looked at and into products that fewer and fewer people are purchasing.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 6:35 pm
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    I have to agree with Juan Archant idle rich in as much as the two norfolk dailies are mere shadows of what they were so its of no use to be seen as a major player in a national market when the hyper local audience has lost interest and moved elsewhere.
    However more to the point by allowing them to continue unchecked and incurring losses and more lost readers with the same overheads they will pose a huge risk to the business,which could have huge repercussions if money continues to be used to subsidise these papers and to prop them up when clearly the local readership has rapidly dwindled to the abysmal numbers in the latest ABCs and at a time when the employees are being told to be cost conscious and that every penny counts.

    The DP and EN were always held up as the flagship titles and brought in good commercial revenues to more than cover costs and to easily sustain the business model,but those days are long gone and taking them at face value as saleable products there can be no real business case made for continuing with them with revenues so bad and copy sales reduced to the embarrassing levels just reported. We also shouldn’t be grateful that Archant are now publishing “genuine” figures, surely that should be the most basic of requirements .
    Like any other business if the costs outweigh the income and theres no benefactor or bottom less pit of cash to prop it up then there’s only one course of action.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 6:53 pm
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    No doubt the Editors and MD’s are being creative with the reasons for the shocking drop in sales. You will notice Johnston Press propping up the bottom of the table with the largest percentage drops.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm
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    with a population of 65 K the Jersey paper is doing something right and its mate in Guernsey.

    All these figures would be meaningless if digital revenues were genuinely bringing home the bacon. Sadly as we all know this is not the case and the lion’s share of revenue is still in print which is of course in free-fall as these tragic figures demonstrate.

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  • August 26, 2015 at 10:53 pm
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    Genuinely, the EDP is one of the best loved papers in the country.
    It has a loyal audience. But there is no demand for a daily newspaper any more. If the EDP can only sell 39,000, we are all in trouble.\

    One stat I would like to see is where regional newspapers are in terms of nationals. When I started, regional papers outsold main national competitors combined, Then we were the top selling title in our patch.

    Is that still true, In Norfolk, is the EDP still the top selling title?

    The evening news only survives because Archant prints it. Years ago, the Norfolk centric board approved a print centre that was closer to Europe than the rest of the UK. Now, the loss of Thorpe wooden dollars is a bigger impact on the balance sheet than the cost of running the Evening News. Essentially, the Evening News just sustains the print centre. No more, no less.

    When Archant decide, or when the shareholders wake up, they will close the print centre, convert the Evening News to a weekly, halve the editorial staff, move out of the current building, and outsource the printing,

    Mr Henry, you know that makes sense. If Archant top execs disagree with this analysis, then say so. I would be glad to hear otherwise.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 8:55 am
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    More ‘exciting’ losses for Johnston Press titles. Hang your head in shame, Ashley Highfield, and admit you got it completely wrong.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 9:50 am
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    It looks like Archants four east Anglian dailies are in their death throes having seen the shocking ABC figures just released.
    Quite how much longer the company can continue to run with these papers that have all but lost their audiences and advertising base and must be running at a loss,even despite a crafty cover price increase,will remain to be seen but if they are serious about being the country’s top regional press group then they’ve got to decide what they do about them very quickly.
    Invest heavily on content and reaching new markets,overhaul the entire sales operation by recruiting professional business minded sales staff and managers who can rebuild confidence in the papers and develop real sustainable revenues,go free or pull the plug altogether and concentrate on developing more lucrative alternate media opportunities.

    To my way of the thinking allowing these papers to continue in this way on this downward spiral,haemorrhaging sales, commercial ad revenues and increasing costs is simply not an option any longer.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 10:05 am
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    The sad fact is that these figures reveal that the UK regional press has less and less relevance to the bulk of the population. It happened to farriers and sagger-maker-bottom-knockers and the world did not come to an abrupt halt.

    The sad truth is that regional newspapers are a very easy habit to kick. Under-resourced and over-priced, you need to be something of a fiscal masochist to indulge in your daily fix these days.

    They used to call the Manchester Evening News “A Friend Dropping In”. Now along with the rest of the regional press it is more of “A Friend Dropping Out”.

    NEXT: We name the guilty men.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 10:26 am
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    At least six of the bottom 10 on the list are owned by Johnston Press. Just saying…

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  • August 27, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    The Brighton Argus has had a new Editor since Christmas -10%, proves he sadly in not in touch with the people,

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  • August 27, 2015 at 10:36 am
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    Totally agree, ex-reader. AH has spent on redesigning titles: tinkering with mastheads, tried to attract more national advertising than local, and of course, not seen the merit in retaining staff (editorial and production) with the knowledge of producing a good local paper. The ad sales staff are required to be both IT literate and designers, rather than good salespeople and the service they are receiving from India is not up to scratch. Errors are going uncorrected: I know of one regular correspondent who has had his last two letters published with a spelling error in his name, plus a typo in the content, a local advertiser saw his company described in a feature as ‘company XXX’ and the error in one house ad remains, months on from first insertion … and so the race to the bottom goes on. Management has got it wrong, staff are too busy or don’t care, and readers are no longer willing to pay for the inferior product.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 11:14 am
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    Tractor Boy. If I’m reading this right it’s only 8k copies of the Ipswich Star as the table says only 67.9% are paid for?

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  • August 27, 2015 at 11:20 am
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    Blimey. I can remember when the YEP was selling 250,000 a night !

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  • August 27, 2015 at 11:20 am
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    Sutler from Cheshire has it right. Regional newspapers are an easy habit to break. I spent over 30 years working at a big regional daily, and since taking redundo from it over two years ago, I have probably bought that same newspaper only two or three times, and then only because I knew I would be stuck in a hospital waiting room for an hour or so.
    My old newspaper is avowedly digital-first. Why on earth would I part with money for it in newspaper form when I can get it more easily, for free on my phone or tablet? The question we have all been asking for years is when ad revenue from newspaper websites will reach a level where it can supplant dwindling print revenues. On these ABCs, that question grows yet more urgent, and the obfuscation of the media giants over exactly what their much-lauded unique users mean in terms of hard cash look ever more like fiddling while Rome burns.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    We could all be closer to the ‘tipping point’ than we thought even a year ago.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 1:06 pm
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    I have searched todays EDP and EVENING NEWS plus Archants various Twitter accounts and Archant staff tweets but can see no mention of theses latest ABC sales figures anywhere?
    Odd that

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  • August 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm
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    You are correct Curious,with around a third given away the actual sales of paid for copies can hardly cover print costs let alone wash its face and bring anything to the bottom line so why they continue with The Star or the other two crashed and burned Norfolk dailies is beyond me.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm
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    Until regional management executives’ bonus schemes include a meaningful KPI relaying to circulation performance, rather than being heavily skewed towards short term profit goals, then we will see more and more of this. We have short term policies in place under a ‘get rich quick’ culture at the top, which means there is no long term strategy to protect and develop, in print and online, the portfolios these people are supposed to be managing.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm
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    Andrew
    Whilst I wholly agree with your points the only thing I would add is that no self respecting ‘ business minded professional sales person ” would consider a job working there with most having left already and with a vast number of them now working on competitor publications selling against Archant and doing very well too by all accounts.

    Even they would not be able to instill confidence in the papers or the company such is the reputation for the business in the area and as is borne out by the latest crushing ABC figures reported yesterday.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 3:27 pm
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    Jim Hacker, I’m sure the Archant Investigations team are hot on the case and compiling a front page lead and double page inside spread as we speak.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 3:44 pm
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    “All the figures for regional dailies”

    Actually, some of the figures for regional dailies.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm
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    It’s only when you look back a few years that you can appreciate the Incredible and rapid free fall of Archants two norwich dailies since 2011 ( the figures are even worse the further back you go ) it truly is shocking and with no obvious signs of recovery to be seen and with thousands of ex readers voting with their feet,
    look away now if you’re easily shocked;
    Eastern Daily Press:
    2011. 59,800
    2012. 49,200
    2013. 47,230
    2014. 44,900
    2015 February. 40,700
    2015. August. 38,900
    A crushing 21,000 lost copy sales/ readers since 2011

    Evening news
    2011. 18,900
    2012. 13,300
    2013. 12,000
    2014. 11,900
    2015 February. 10,600
    2015.August. 10,500
    Almost half the entire readership gone in just five years.

    At this rapid rate of decline these two papers will have lost their entire readership base in 3-5 years max.with no title development plans, no sign of any remedial audience growth in place or no reassurances from the top floor as to the future of the newsprint side of the business, incidentally where majority of the costs are.

    It’s clear that the way forward for Archant does not include a daily,or in all likelihood,a weekly newspaper portfolio with even the DP and NEN mastheads removed from their head office building and all the talk being of new media and electronic /digital developments,it’s also no coincidence that the new regime at Archant are from the financial side of the digital sector too.

    But to be fair when looking at it as a hard and fast business proposition you can understand why this stance is being taken when pumping money into a dying medium is simply not a realistic option anymore,and as in any other business if it’s not profitable or the market has gone you simply cut your losses and look to diversify elsewhere, certainly looking at the five year ABC figures above you’d be hard pressed to make a case for keeping these two papers going.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm
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    Will the last person to leave the newsroom please turn the lights out?

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  • August 27, 2015 at 3:56 pm
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    13 years ago Some papers were 30p, so should only be 45p if price increases went with inflation, they are in fact 70p. I saw The Sun the other day was 40p. Imagine if everything went up at that rate including pay, I’d be taking home £1.65m a year by now.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm
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    Interesting, informative and passionate contributions by Archant folks on this thread, and I can’t disagree with any of it. There is certainly a strong business case to reduce the Ipswich and Norwich evenings to weeklies, but the flagship daily papers still have life in them yet. I have never worked for Archant (phew) but I know a bit about similar titles and can guess that the execs are thinking along the lines of managing the decline for a while yet. As for falling sales figures for individual titles, come on guys, this is happening everywhere. The loss of the EDP and the Brighton Argus sales is shocking, but to highlight the fall down the years is like saying… “When I were a lad you could buy a liquorice stick for a halfpenny..” Luxury!

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  • August 27, 2015 at 6:41 pm
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    I expect most of us long ago stopped exclaiming in horror as we read the news that the newspapers we were proud to work for are steadily going down the drain. Double figure percentage losses are now the norm and there is nothing to suggest that they can be reversed.

    My experiences suggest that the vast majority of young people (under 45?) never buy or read a regional newspaper, daily or weekly. To do so is simply not on their radar. I doubt they will become avid consumbers of hard copy as they get older.

    It seems to be a question of which will disappear first – the newspapers or their surviving readers.

    It is sad from the point of view of those who will lose their jobs and those who will forfeit their chances of a rewarding career. It is also dangerous from the point of view of local democracy.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm
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    Sad to say that, for whatever reasons, regional dailies, online and in print, have become dull fare. You can’t be bothered buying the tired print version and only jump on to the online version from facebook or wherever to glance at a single story, then skip off again immediately. Or is that just me?

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  • August 28, 2015 at 11:42 am
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    so much doom and gloom out there – no doubt all ex hacks once employed by either Archant or JP.
    Like radio, cinema and no doubt many other entities, I believe print newspapers will make a comeback. so to the Archants and JPs I say ‘well done for hanging in there and doing everything you can to stay afloat’. Don’t give up!

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  • August 28, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    Viewfinder, I’m the same.

    Ask the question though, why do people pay a fiver for a magazine religiously every month but won’t part with 80p for a paper now?

    Good design, good writing, good headlines, good pictures – some effort.

    If you got a top rated magazine packed with spelling errors and looked like it had been cobbled together by 20-year-olds straight out of college, that would show in the lack of quality and you’d be an idiot for buying it.

    It’s simple stuff.

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  • August 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm
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    Rose Taylor :
    correction not ex hacks, ‘current hacks’ and whilst it must be lovely to live in a world of carefree wishful thinking the hard cold facts of business are that unless action is taken to redress the titles that are dragging regional press groups down or the complacent fat cats whose bad decisions and short term greed have resulted in the dire situation we find ourselves in then there will be no regional press business’s to hang on to.

    The days of thriving daily and weekly papers are drawing to a swift and sudden close- fact
    The world has changed and peoples media buying habits with them, fact
    instant news is available at hand 24/7 meaning the need to buy an regional paper for up to date news has all but gone as the ABC figures confirm, so it’s not about head in the clouds wishing it’s about adapting to a changed marketplace and embracing new media and with people capable of handling new ways of working and actually monetising it, in place of those entrenched in traditional print methods who are rapidly going under.

    No amount of hoping and believing will bring back the thousands of lost readers and paper buyers that those of us who have been around longer than 5 minutes were used to so accept it and applaud those individuals and groups adapting to change in order that the business survives and thrives in the new age it’s been dragged in to.
    Welcome to the real world of 21st century business and 21st century news gathering.

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  • August 30, 2015 at 7:08 am
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    There shouldn’t be any real surprise at these latest ABC figures as it just confirms what we already know,that there’s no long term sustainable future for newspapers as credible news or advertising mediumsets not fool ourselves
    And we can’t blame the owners for not pumping good money after bad to prop badly performing titles up either, it’s just not practical.
    What’s more concerning is that some newspaper groups are doing just that, continuing to run with papers that have all but lost their audiences, are losing thousands of readers each year, have little advertising content of any value and are pale imitations of what they once were, this ought to be the real worry for staff at places like Archant where I am and where subsidising the EN and EDP could cause major problems to the greater good of the entire company.
    As has been said previously any other business that has under performing products and staff takes direct action and removes them to protect the rest of the business. It’s a harsh world but if somethings not profitable and no longer wanted then it has to go,
    Lack of action by those in charge will have serious repercussions further down the line so needs redressing now,investment and development of the titles or closure store the only options,there’s no third choice so it’s no time to be looking for the middle ground and sitting on the fence.

    Apathy? or Acton ? Jeff Henry , you decide and we will judge you on which route you choose

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  • August 30, 2015 at 10:42 am
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    JP Brighton. a little unfair to blame new Argus editor for drop in figures. No extra staff announced (in fact long serving sports ed and a top snapper have gone) and sales at weekly paper level (12,000 a day) when he arrived. He is really fighting a holding action, whatever talent he might have.
    Coverage of Shoreham disaster was decent considering and will add some sales, but you do not get back lost readers. And the Argus has lost 100,000 a day of them since the mid 1980s!! Yes, 100,000.

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  • September 3, 2015 at 12:45 am
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    Will the last one leaving turn the light off? Thanks. Goodbye.

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  • September 8, 2015 at 3:53 pm
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    You think the ABC figures are bad,You should try selling ads into them!

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