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Downward trend continues for regional newspapers

Every morning and evening regional newspaper in England, Scotland and Wales saw its circulation fall during the past year.

The latest ABC figures show that the downward trend continued into the first half of this year following a steady historic decline.

The Liverpool Daily Post and Birmingham Post were hit hardest among the regional morning papers, with the Liverpool paper (17,897) losing 10.9 per cent and the Birmingham paper (12,962) falling 9.1 per cent.

The Irish News, which has a 49,272 circulation, put on 1.8 per cent during the 12 months up to June 30.

Among the regional evenings, some of which are now switching to morning production, the worst performers were listed as losing more than a tenth of their circulation year-on-year.

The Birmingham Mail (78,178) saw a 17.1 per cent fall after a relaunch last October, and the Peterborough Evening Telegraph was down 10.8 per cent (20,408).

The Manchester Evening News, which has now cut its paid-for circulation in the city centre by around 7,000, lost 11.1 per cent, recording a figure of 118,903.

Regional Sundays were also hit hard, with Sentinel Sunday (11,530) losing 19 per cent. The Sunday edition has now relaunched as a tabloid.

The Sunday Mercury (61,053) was down 12 per cent and Wales On Sunday (44,591) down 16.5 per cent. Even the big-selling Scottish title The Sunday Post (451,530) saw a drop – of 6.3 per cent.

The South Wales Evening Post (56,202) was down just half a per cent, with the Greenock Teelgraph (18,944) down 1.1 per cent.

The Worcester News lost just 0.9 per cent, leaving its circulation on 19,243.

Other evening titles that managed to tread water and retain circulation included the Bournemouth Daily Echo (33,672) and the Scunthorpe Telegraph (20,899), both losing just one per cent, the Grimsby Telegraph (38,660) and the Southern Daily Echo (41,182), both losing 1.8 per cent, and the Oxford Mail (25,826), down 1.1 per cent.

  • All quoted figures are Monday-Friday.

    Top ten weeklies

    The Kent Messenger retained its spot as the biggest-selling weekly newspaper in the UK, with the latest ABC results showing that it now sells an average 55,466 copies a week.

    The Kent title still saw its circulation drop 3.9 per cent, while the Mansfield Chad – the second-biggest selling weekly – fell two per cent to 48,390.

    The West Briton (45,928) saw sales fall 6.5 per cent, the Barnsley Chronicle (44,711) fell 0.8 per cent and the Derbyshire Times (42,586) dropped 1.8 per cent.

    Of the other top ten biggest-selling selling weeklies, the Hereford Times now sells 41,770, a loss of 1.7 per cent, the Essex Chronicle is now at 40,781 (down 5.2 per cent), the Isle of Wight County Press sells 39,887 (down 1.9 per cent), the Western Gazette sells 38,779 (down 5.5 per cent) and the Cornish Guardian dropped 6.5 per cent to 37,332.