East Anglia is continuing to hold out against the national trend of circulation decline as today’s ABC figures saw all four of the region’s daily newspapers posting increases.
The Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times all saw their average daily circulation rise year-on-year in the second half of 2011, although all four titles gave away some free copies.
However no other regional daily titles in the UK saw sales increase over the period, with significant falls for some of the big-city dailies.
Today’s figures saw the second rise in succession for the EDP and the Evening News, which also posted circulation increases in the last set of figures published in August.
The Evening News saw its circulation up 7.5pc, the EDP 0.7pc, the Evening Star 0.4pc and the EADT 0.3pc.
However none of the four titles are classified as 100pc paid-for by the ABC, with up to a fifth of their circulations coming from free giveaways.
According to today’s figures, the Evening Star sold 8opc of its copies, the Evening News 81pc, and the EDP and the EADT 89pc.
If bulk copies are excluded, the best-performing regional daily title in the UK would appear to be the Western Morning News, which sold 99.6pc of its copies and registered a circulation decrease of 1pc.
Its editor Alan Qualtrough commented: ” ‘Is bulking real sales? I thought this practice was abandoned long ago. The Western Morning News is 99.6pc actively sold, which according to my elementary maths, makes it the best performing title.”
However Archant editors were delighted with their own titles’ performances which saw the Evening News top the league table of circulation increases for the third six-month period on the trot.
Editor Tim Williams said: “We are very proud to have recorded a second consecutive six-monthly increase in sales on the Norwich Evening News. It shows that by focusing on local, community news and value for money we can continue to deliver a lively and informative newspaper for our readers and advertising customers.”
EDP editor Peter Waters added: “This is another great performance for the country’s biggest-selling regional morning newspaper. It’s a tribute to the hard-working editorial team who put together a first-class product every day and the newspaper sales team who ensure the EDP reaches our mostly-rural county.
“At a time when the Leveson Inquiry is unearthing some unpalatable truths about sections of the national media, the fact we have got a third consecutive ABC increase says a lot about our responsible, trusted journalism, the way we respectfully engage with our customers, and the way we campaign on behalf of our region.”
Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times said: “We are delighted with the sales growth, at what we all know is a very difficult time economically. Our team works very hard to produce a relevant and informative local newspaper six days a week, and this performance is a great reward for those efforts.”
And Nigel Pickover of the Ipswich Star added: “Everyone at The Star is bursting with pride at our sales increase, which caps a great few days for us. Our paper, which last week was named the Eastern region’s Daily Newspaper of the Year, is a strong, vibrant, power-packed product.”
Archant chief executive Adrian Jeakings said: “We are delighted with our success in growing circulation in each of our daily titles and the majority of our weeklies in today’s ABC release.
“We have achieved this through investing in understanding what our readers want, producing great content that our readers want to read and by marketing, selling and distributing our papers well.”