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High profile stories like the launch of the QM2 and when John Prescott came within a whisker of running the city also helped keep interest up.
Ian, (left), said: “We made the most of the good feeling in the city. We introduced new supplements such as DIY guides, Wessex Walks and Eye In The Sky – pictures of the city from the sky – which raised £2,000 in photo sales alone, easily covering the £300 it took to hire the plane. We also concentrated on some cracking news stories and exclusives during this period. We are glad to say we are just half a per cent below last year’s figures.
“Managers at Southampton FC have come and gone but we have kept our sales up.”
Keith Perch, (right), editor and managing director of Northcliffe Electronic Publishing, said newspapers must work with the Internet. While newspaper circulation was falling steadily, online use was growing. From January 2002 to August 2004 the number of unique users of the “This Is” sites had risen from 200,000 to 1.3m.
But that did not mean readers were abandoning newsprint.
Research has shown that although a third of online users never read the newspaper, another third read it six nights a week.