AddThis SmartLayers

Circulation down 12pc at flagship Scottish daily

Circulation at Scottish daily The Scotsman was down 12.21pc year-on-year, the latest ABC figures have shown.

The figures, which are published each month for national titles, show that the paper’s average circulation for the six months to August was 35,949, down 12.21pc year-on-year.

When last month’s circulation of 36,344 is compared to last August’s sales of 42,581, the decrease is even greater at 14.65pc.

However, the Olympics provided a boost to the Johnston Press-owned title last month, with a sales increase of 6.5pc compared to its July figure of 34,127.

It comes after data released by the National Readership Survey this week showed the paper’s website,, had more readers in a month than its print readers.

The ABC figures also showed sister title Scotland on Sunday saw a decline in circulation of 22.35pc, falling from 55,866 in August last year to 43,382.

Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil told Newsnight Scotland he believed The Scotsman and Glasgow-based rival The Herald, which is now classed as a regional title for the ABCs, were in “terminal decline”.

He said: “Don’t forget, that the real strength – historically, not of the Aberdeen or the Dundee papers, but of The Scotsman and The Herald – is: We do what all the London papers do, we just do Scotland as well. And we’ll do it just as well, too.

“Given the revenue coming in, that is impossible. I do think they are in terminal decline and I cannot see any way in which it can be reversed.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • September 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Andrew Neil is wrong, wrong, wrong. The main reason for the decline is that publishers continue to sell online services for almost nothing. Why should anyone pay for a paper when they can get the stories for almost nothing on the anoraknet.

    The media is the only major market in the work where online services are almost free. Fortune 100 companies like IBM don’t have any problem making lots of money from online services, so why won’t media employers? Must we wait for a major newspaper to go under before there is a wake-up call?

    People will pay good money for real news. As a former national newspaper editor, Mr Neil regularly sold his titles on that basis.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • October 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Yep, people will pay good money for real news….. that’s why Scots are turning away from the Scotsman. Time and again they are showing politically they are out of touch with the aspirations of Scots. The Scotsman is not a newspaper covering news from a Scottish perspective. It covers issues from a hard-line unionist point of view from a London perspective and whilst spinning and distorting news from Holyrood has little criticism for Westminsters way of doing things.

    Why do we want to buy a newsapaper that just doesn’t seem to understand the Scottish political climate. All the other newspapers sold in Scotland are the same. How about a paper does something different and supports political change? We won’t know if it affects circulation until a paper tries it.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(1)