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Weeklies perform well on circulation

The latest ABC figures show that half of all regional press titles under its membership have increased circulation over the past year, the weeklies showing the strongest progress.

Top performers among the weeklies were the St Albans Observer Series (+42.19 per cent), which has changed from broadsheet to tabloid and changed its publication day, and the Free Press of Monmouthshire Series (+29.46 per cent).

The Kent Messenger is now the largest weekly newspaper reaching 57,841 readers. See yesterday’s story.

Lynne Anderson, communications director at the Newspaper Society, said: “The weeklies – which make up 81% of all regional titles in ABC membership – have put in a particularly strong performance.”

She said that many of the weekly newspapers recorded growth for the third or fourth consecutive period.

Factors influencing newspaper sales included expanding the editorial content to include more in-depth features, more hard-hitting crime stories and campaigns, more community news and more sports coverage.

Several had undergone re-designs and were publishing more photographs and using more colour.

Newspaper sales teams were working more closely with the editorial departments and offering a more flexible service to newsagents.

The Lynn News (+4.7 per cent) partly attributed a lift in sales to its coverage of the September 11 attacks, which was of particular interest because the town is home to an American airbase.

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