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Dailies-to-weeklies fall from initial sales peak

All five Johnston Press titles which made the switch from daily to weekly publication saw double-digit falls in circulation in the last six months of 2012 when compared to the initial period following the frequency changes.

Five of the regional publisher’s titles went weekly in May and the last ABC figures showed that they all saw dramatic increases in sales in the month following the relaunches.

However, the figures for the rest of the year, which have just been released, showed each JP title saw double digit falls from the high of June, although the figures also show they are all still selling significantly more copies as weekly titles than as daily ones.

The five titles in question were the Northants Telegraph, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Peterborough Telegraph, Scarborough News and Halifax Courier.

The latest figures show the Northants Telegraph’s circulation now stands at 19,314, down 18.1pc from the sales of 23,590 it achieved immediately after its¬†relaunch.

Sales at sister title the Northampton Chronicle and Echo stand at 19,598, down 14.8pc on last June, while at the Peterborough Telegraph the circulation is now 16,707, down 16.2pc.

Of JP’s Yorkshire titles which went weekly, the Scarborough News’ circulation is down 11.5pc to 14,806 and the Halifax Courier’s sales are down 12.7pc to 18,801.

However when the current weekly circulations of the five titles are compared with their last month as dailies, a different picture emerges.

The Northants Telegraph managed an average circulation of 17,018 in its last audited period as a daily, meaning its current weekly circulation of 19,314 represents an increase of 13.5pc.

Similarly the Northampton Chronicle and Echo is up 28.9pc on its last recorded daily circulation of 15,197 and the Peterborough Telegraph up 20.7pc on its January – June 2012 figure of 13,834.

Of the two Yorkshire titles, the standout performance was from the Scarborough News, which was up 49.3pc on its final six months as a daily when it sold an average 9,914 copies.

And the Halifax Courier, which averaged 14,272 in the January – June 2012 period, is now up 31.7pc .at 18,801.

The latest figures also saw year-on-year circulation falls for the four former Northcliffe regional dailies, now owned by Local World, which went weekly in 2011.

The Lincolnshire Echo’s circulation fell 19.8pc, the Scunthorpe Telegraph fell 9.9pc, the Torquay Herald Express fell 14.3pc and the Exeter Express & Echo fell 18.8pc. Trinity Mirror title the Liverpool Post went weekly in January last year and its sales now stand at 5,727, down 20.4pc from last June.

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  • February 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Is anyone at Johnston Press going to take any responsibility for these flawed redesigns, the botched daily to weekly conversions and the most unsuccessful results yet from turning broadsheets into tabloids ?
    The terrible circulation figures for JP are largely self-inflicted and those of us still trying to do our best for the titles are at rock bottom. The hype last year with all the relaunches was excruciating. Now, the figures speak for themselves. I don’t suppose anyone is going to put their hand up ?

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