All but two UK regional daily newspapers saw circulation declining in the second half of 2012, according to the latest ABC figures.
Today’s figures, covering the period July to December 2012, showed some regional titles losing almost a fifth of their sales compared to the same period in 2011.
The two exceptions to the overall picture of decline were the Paisley Daily Express, which saw its sales increase by 1.3pc,and the Ipswich Star, which put on 8.5pc circulation although more than a third of its copies were given away free.
Elsewhere there were big falls for some of the industry’s most iconic titles, with top-selling daily the Express & Star down 10pc from 104,262 a year ago to 93,799, and the Manchester Evening News down 11.6pc.
The Ipswich Star owed its strong performance to its conversion to the part-free, part-paid for model, with only 63pc of its copies paid-for in the second half of 2012.
It followed a 20.2pc year-on-year circulation rise for the Archant-owned title in first half of 2012.
Among 100pc paid-for titles, the 1.3pc increase posted by the Trinity Mirror-owned Paisley Daily Express represnted the best performance of any UK daily.
Allan Rennie, editor-in-chief of TM’s Media Scotland division said: “This is a tremendous testament to the hard work and talent of editor John Hutcheson and all his team at the Paisley Daily Express.
“A bright new design, fantastic stories that promote Paisley and great scoops have driven this sales result. The great thing is the latest figures are showing that sales growth is actually accelerating.
“However, the Paisley Daily Express isn’t resting on its laurels as the country’s best performing daily and we’ll be launching new initiatives and promotions to stay where we belong, at No. 1.”
The biggest fallers among daily newspapers were the Norwich Evening News, whose circulation was down 19.3pc, The Argus, Brighton, down 19.6pc and the Doncaster Star, down 19.3pc.
And many other titles also saw double-digit declines, including the Blackpool Gazette at 16.4pc, the Lancashire Evening Post at 15.3pc, the East Anglian Daily Times at 15pc, the Wigan Evening Post at 15.3pc, the Nottingham Post at 14.3pc and the Hartlepool Mail at 14.3pc.
Among the best-performing regional dailies were the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, down 1.6pc, and the Guernsey Press & Star, down 1.5pc, while its sister title the Jersey Evening Post fell 2.2pc.
Other titles which performed better than most included the North Wales Daily Post which was down 3.4pc, the Liverpool Echo, down 4.5pc, and the Oxford Mail down 4.8pc.