AddThis SmartLayers

July to December ABCs: What the editors said: Weekly

Worksop Guardian
+17.4 per cent year-on-year

Editor George Robinson said: “We took one of our free newspaper titles covering the neighbouring South Yorkshire area, just over the border from Worksop in North Notts, and turned it into a full-blown 80-page paid-for edition of the Worksop Guardian. This has resulted in yet another sales surge for the Guardian, continuing our impressive award-winning year-on-year rises during the past six years.”

Hemel Hempstead Gazette
+3.8 per cent

David Feldstein, editor: “The Buncefield Oil Depot explosion on December 11 helped provide a significant boost to Gazette sales at the end of the year.

“The paper was already on course to record a rise of about 2.6 per cent for the six month period but the disaster helped raise this by a further 1.2 per cent.

“Our disaster week sale was more than 30 per cent up (year on year), despite record hits to our website ( which provided rolling coverage of the drama.”

Watford Observer
+4.8per cent

Newsquest Hertfordshire & Middlesex group editor Peter Wilson-Leary said: “The Watford Observer’s transformation to compact format in September 2004 has provided the springboard for three consecutive ABC increases.”

Mid Wales and South Shropshire Journals
+2.3per cent

Mike Robinson, editor: “The reason we have achieved these figures is by concentrating on purely local subjects. We carry nothing editorially from outside our circulation areas.

“In a bid to stay one step ahead of local radio and the Internet, we tend to carry more pictures. If a photographer attends an event, he or she will come back with six or seven pictures rather than one or two as in the past.

“Even advertisement features get the “local treatment”. In a feature such as “Your Home” we will carry pictures and stories about local companies, rather than general interest “how-to-decorate-your-bathroom” type of copy of days gone by.”

The Banffshire Journal
+3 per cent

Mike George, editor of the Banffshire Journal said: “The circulation of our newspaper has risen steadily over the past six years. In 1999 it was a little over 4,400, and since then we have steadily increased at the rate of about 100 a year.

“I believe the main reason for our success – apart from the sheer genius of the editorial team, of course! – is that in such a relatively small community newspaper content can be targeted very precisely towards the needs and expectations of that community. People up here basically don’t want smart-ass tabloid journalism, but they do need a good, informative read with plenty of local stories and pictures.”

Grantham Journal and Grantham Citizen
+1.4per cent

Nick Woodhead, managing editor: “The success appears to be news-led. The Journal is a strong, campaigning newspaper that promotes itself as the champion of the community.

“We have a sister free (the Citizen), a website updated daily and now a separate monthly lifestyle magazine, but none of this has damaged the growth of the paid-for. Household penetration is close to 100 per cent in the town, but there is still steady population growth (2,000 in the last 10 years). Anecdotal evidence suggests the newcomers quickly become Journal buyers.”

Buchan Observer
+0.5 per cent

Ken Duncan editor: “The Buchan Observer has recorded a July-Dec ABC increase of + 0.5per cent. It was particularly good news for us since we were up against our new compact changeover figures.

“The philosophy since the changeover was simple – to continually maintain a high level of local news, sport and features. It was very important for us not to make the compact a completely different animal from its broadsheet predecessor. We opted to stay with traditional fonts and layout yet add a bit of artistic flair when appropriate.”

Bucks Free Press
+0.5 per cent

Steve Cohen, editor of the Bucks Free Press, said: “The increase is especially gratifying because it endorses the decision to turn from a broadsheet to a compact less than one year ago. Readers have realised that despite the change in size, the BFP is still committed to first-rate community journalism.”