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Daily newspapers dip in latest circulation figures

The latest circulation figures for the regional press show all dailies have seen a drop in numbers for the first six months of 2008.

Both the Manchester Evening News and Birmingham Post posted increases compared to the same period last year, but these figures include part paid-for, part-free distribution.

The Post’s circulation went up 0.9pc with just over 33pc of copies being distributed free.

The MEN saw an 85.8pc rise in circulation with just over half their copies being handed out free in the city centre areas as ABC is now auditing both free and paid-for sales.

The MEN has a combined circulation of 161,545, almost 78,000 of which are paid for.

The Wolverhampton-based Express and Star continues to be the UK’s biggest selling regional daily title with 138,116 copies, down 3.8pc.

The Liverpool Echo also broke the six-figure barrier for daily circulation with 102,488, down 6.6pc.

It was a similar picture for paid-for weekly newspapers but some free titles posted circulation increases.

The Newspaper Society, which represents local newspapers, said that looking just at print circulations no longer reflected the changing market.

“Local publishers are reaching new and growing audiences across a range of platforms and a variety of distribution methods – print, digital, part-paid, part-free – as they develop strategies to meet consumer demand for local news and information at a time and place that suits them,” the Society said.

“Focusing purely on the ups and downs of a title’s paid-for print circulation no longer provides a meaningful measure of a local newspaper brand’s total reach.

“ABC’s move to combined reporting will help to bring greater clarity for advertisers who are now, for the first time, able to see a regional title’s paid, free and pick-up print circulation figures all on one certificate.

“The next step is for audited website traffic figures for many of the sector’s flagship sites to be available alongside print figures.”

The NS added that it was now working to develop a system to measure combined newspaper and online audience reach.

Georgina Harvey, managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals, said: “Circulation remains challenging across the entire regional newspaper industry but it is within local and regional media that some of the most receptive audiences and some of the most exciting opportunities for growth lie.

“As a genuine cross-media business, we are providing many more options and opportunities for readers and advertisers.

“Through the actions we are taking, our regional business is evolving into a true multimedia publisher of scale.

“We are focused on serving our readers via our print titles, companion websites and mobile platforms and we have the potential to reach larger audiences than we ever have done.” Mark Rix, managing director of MEN Media, said: “We have always recognised we need to diversify to stay ahead of the competition.

“We will continue to look for innovative ways to provide our local communities with the news, information and entertainment they want, in the way they want to receive it, whether through print, broadcast or online media and will flex our media offering in the future to ensure that we meet the needs of our readers and advertisers in the most effective way possible.”


Nick Thompson (29/08/2008 13:09:09)
Essex weekly free paper – The Dunmow Broadcast – is down by just two readers…a great acheivement by all…

Larry Lamb’s lovechild (29/08/2008 14:03:33)
mama mia – if you’re giving it away and you’re still down what hope is there for the rest