Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror is to move 11 of its regional titles to a system of monthly reporting of newspaper sales figures from this month.
Traditionally the regional press has reported sales figures only every six months, with average sales for the July to December period published in February and the January to June figures published in August.
However Trinity Mirror, now the only publishing group which owns both regional and national newspapers, wants to bring its biggest regional papers into line with its national titles’ reporting dates.
The move is partly designed to maximise advertising opportunities across its portfolio which are now handled by a single sales team – the National Advertising Sales Agency (NASa).
Chief operating officer Mark Hollinshead said: “In a multi-channel environment our clients require robust and transparent audience data on all of our news brands – in print, online, mobile and e-editions – delivered in a consistent format and on a far more regular basis.”
All of the group’s key regional titles are in the process of launching new websites and mobile sites in recent months and new e-editions for tablet devices will be introduced throughout the summer.
The daily and Sunday titles included in the new monthly reporting system are: Manchester Evening News, Birmingham Mail, Liverpool Echo, Newcastle Chronicle, South Wales Echo, Teesside Gazette, Coventry Telegraph, North Wales Daily Post, Sunday Sun, Sunday Mercury and Wales on Sunday.
The last set of ABC figures in February showed sales down for all the group’s big English regional dailies.
Of the titles affected by the changes, the best-performing was the North Wales Daily Post with a 3.4pc fall while the worst-performing with an 11.6pc fall in sales was the Manchester Evening News.
Trinity’s move stands in contrast to that of four major Scottish titles which have all decided to move from monthly to six-monthly reporting in future.
The Scotsman and Scotland on Snuday, owned by Johnston Press, together with Newsquest titles The Herald and Sunday Herald, have all opted to be classed as “regional” titles for the purpose of reporting circulation figures.