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ABCs: Bullivant secures bragging rights for weekly frees

StratfordWest Midlands-based Bullivant Media secured the bragging rights for weekly free titles in the latest ABCs by securing the top four positions in the national league table.

The six-monthly ABC figures for the period July to December 2015 showed 21 free titles increased their circulation in the second half of last year compared to the same period in 2014.

The top four positions all went to Bullivant Media titles, with the Stratford-upon-Avon Observer up 28.6pc year-on-year.

It was followed by the Evesham Observer, up 22.6pc, the Bromsgrove Standard, up 19.8pc and the Coventry Observer, up 9.6pc.

The full list of circulation figures for weekly free or predominantly free titles is as follows:

Title Total Y-on-Y pc
Stratford upon Avon Observer 16,123 28.6
Evesham Observer 16,318 22.6
Bromsgrove Standard 38,467 19.8
Coventry Observer 54,111 9.6
North Somerset Times 37,298 8.4
Worcester Observer 48,778 8.4
Solihull Observer 57,282 8.3
Redditch & Alcester Standard 40,946 7.4
Stretford & Urmston Messenger 19,205 4.2
Leamington Spa Observer 22,521 2.6
Rugby Observer 26,192 1.8
Telford Journal 41,045 1
KM Extra (Thanet) 40,815 0.9
Wirral Globe 98,196 0.9
Champion 164,194 0.7
Consett-Stanley Advertiser 23,006 0.7
Crewe and Nantwich Guardian 23,307 0.7
Waltham Forest News 97,198 0.4
Hackney Today 91,665 0.3
Halesowen Chronicle 27,872 0.2
East End Life 82,395 0.1
Aberdeen Citizen 52,893 0
Great Barr Observer 16,180 0
Maidenhead Advertiser (Pick Ups) 1,530 0
Sutton Coldfield Observer 44,290 0
Walsall Chronicle 43,694 0
Midweek – Weston Super Mare 29,372 -0.1
Cannock Chronicle 53,508 -0.2
St. Helens Star 66,381 -0.2
Wolverhampton Chronicle 47,651 -0.2
Dudley Chronicle 35,247 -0.4
Redditch Advertiser 38,951 -0.6
Sandwell Chronicle 44,625 -0.6
Lichfield Mercury 29,234 -0.8
Stroud Life 11,925 -0.8
Slough & Windsor Express 44,461 -0.9
Runcorn and Widnes World 27,636 -1
Messenger Extra (Gravesend, Dartford and Swanley) 21,033 -1.5
North Devon Gazette 41,436 -1.6
Stourbridge News 47,070 -1.7
Worcester Journal (Berrows) 39,905 -1.7
KM Extra (Maidstone) 14,548 -1.9
Durham Advertiser 20,645 -2
KM Extra Ashford 8,260 -2.1
Halesowen News 33,971 -2.2
Chester-Le-Street Advertiser 13,566 -2.3
Shrewsbury Chronicle 31,666 -2.3
KM Extra (Folkestone and Hythe) 8,602 -2.8
KM Extra (Medway) 30,268 -3.1
Chorley & Leyland Citizen 21,423 -3.2
The Shuttle 34,492 -3.3
Oswestry and Border Chronicle 10,780 -3.7
Exmouth Herald 15,424 -3.8
Dumfries Courier 20,817 -3.9
Stourbridge Chronicle 36,453 -4
Stirling News incorporating Alloa and Hillfoots Weekender 14,972 -4.1
Dudley News 28,685 -4.3
North Yorkshire Advertiser 19,283 -4.5
Banbury Cake 13,054 -4.7
The Evesham and Cotswold Journal 25,682 -4.9
KM Extra (Canterbury) 26,404 -5.2
Sale & Altrincham Messenger 39,074 -5.3
Wiltshire Star 23,711 -5.5
Advertiser 30,006 -5.7
Midweek (Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead) 37,271 -6.9
Nuneaton News 28,308 -6.9
Fife & Kinross Extra 16,086 -7
Swindon Star 23,525 -7.3
The London Magazine 72,979 -7.3
Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 3,300 -8.1
Northern Scot Mid Week Extra 18,469 -9.4
Rotherham Record 52,225 -9.7
Solihull News 46,580 -10
Dearne Valley Weekender 49,726 -10.3
Bracknell & Wokingham Weekender 23,411 -10.5
Campaign 20,498 -10.8
Walsall Advertiser 42,800 -11
Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser 13,135 -12.9
Gloucestershire Independent 9,755 -13.5
Leigh, Tyldesley & Atherton Journal 35,282 -14.5
Surrey & Hants Star Courier 42,145 -18.1
Post Lite 95,420 -18.7
Staines Informer 22,963 -19.4
Wear Valley Advertiser 14,338 -20.6
Inverness Scene 12,539 -20.9
Paisley People 3,532 -21.8
Reading Midweek 41,552 -22.5

Circulations of weekly free titles for which no year-on-year comparison was given were as follows:

Title Total Y-on-Y pc
Bexley Times 15,659
Brent and Kilburn Times 14,989
Brentwood Recorder 2,390
Bromley Times 4,968
Bromsgrove Advertiser/Droitwich Spa Advertiser 38,260
Bury St Edmunds Mercury 23,910
Bury Times (complimentary copies) 984
Cambs Times 12,218
Coastal Scene 9,470
Crawley News 16,039
Darlington Aycliffe and Sedgefield Advertiser 29,745
Diss Mercury 15,635
Docklands & East London Advertiser 6,885
Dunmow Broadcast 12,563
Ealing & Acton Gazette 22,448
Ely Standard 5,752
Folkestone Herald 17,110
Ham and High Express 8,912
Hitchin Comet 18,553
Hounslow Chronicle 18,133
Hunts Post 40,254
Islington Gazette 5,722
Kent On Sunday 43,515
Letchworth GC & Baldock Comet 20,157
Manchester Weekly News 243,480
Mayfair Times 20,840
Midweek Mercury (Hitchin) 30,246
Midweek Mercury (Stevenage) 16,301
Midweek Visiter 52,133
Romford and Havering Post 16,724
Royston Crow 12,237
Saffron Walden Reporter 16,923
Stevenage Comet 30,053
Stowmarket Mercury 12,715
Sudbury Mercury 13,714
Teesside Herald & Post 62,037
The Advertiser – Norwich Edition 49,202
The Advertiser – Waveney Edition 43,417
The Advertiser – Yarmouth Edition 41,926
The Barnsley Independent 45,113
The Herts Advertiser 39,727
The Reporter 28,729
Thetford & Watton Times 18,742
Times (Faversham, Whitstable & Herne Bay and Canterbury) 27,097
Ulverston and South Lakes Citizen 9,050
Uxbridge & West Drayton Gazette 25,344
Warrington Midweek 23,374
Westmorland Gazette (complimentary copies) 100
Wisbech Standard 9,764
Wood and Vale 6,016
Woodford Recorder 3,028
Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury 13,651




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  • February 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Bullivant’s figures do tend to enjoy a roller coaster pattern. Peek when the figures are taken and then a nice drop down until the next time.

    A rather large pinch of salt to go with these for any real indication of the state of the free titles around.

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  • February 24, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Increasing the circulation of free weekly titles… so printing more copies then.
    Hardly something which warrants “bragging rights”!

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  • February 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    How is this ‘bragging rights’? They’re free papers, they’re just choosing to give more of them out…

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  • February 24, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Fantastic New`s for the Evesham Observer, As the Representative of Evesham Observer this gives me much Pride.
    As a local newspaper company that covers Wawickshire and Worcesteshire with FREE newspapers that is paid by the company of Bullivant media to print copies to it’s audiance to provide FREE local new`s as a service. Unlike paid for titles within these areas where as the print is paid for by the Reader.
    Well Done Bullivant media and i will take the Bragging rights.

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  • February 24, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Oh dear Danielle green bull
    Think you’re jumping the gun a bit with your excitement
    All you’re doing is really celebrating your company printing more of their own FREE copies which are being given away FREE as opposed to the good people of the area buying copies which aren’t FREE so therefore has a true value.

    The fact that people will buy a paper indicates a value to them as opposed to taking one simply because it’s FREE
    Sorry to chuck a bucket of cold water over your excitement but you’re celebrating something of little real value to the area whilst demeaning the paid for title which has proven a market for its title
    I wonder how many people would buy your titles if they had a cover price?

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  • February 24, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Dear South Side Johnny, you are absolutely correct in your statement that all of the newspapers my family currently publish are free, I’m proud of the fact that I conceived the gendre 46 years ago this coming bonfire night and have launched more than 40 titles since giving employment to many including journalists who have gone on to be nationally known personalities, would it be infra dig to enquire how many journalists you have employed in your career, I do hope so!. I do not make a habit of responding to your sort of attack on my company and people but, on this occasion I write to congratulate and thank everyone who works with me and my family in the production of newspapers I am proud to have delivered to about a third of a million homes each week. All regional newspapers have had a tough time over the last decade, the fact that Bullivant Media titles have 9 out of the top 11 increases of circulation in the last year indicates our confidence in the future of our industry, our confidence, in large measure. Is due to the fantastic people who work with us and whom I would like to thank again. One last point, SSJ, are you a journalist or, as your Monica indicates a purveyor of inexpensive condoms?
    Chris Bullivant Snr.

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  • February 24, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Well done Chris. I am saddened by the number of sad, bitter, ex journos who never stop moaning at any success story. It’s rather sad, I spent my entire life in the regional press, moved about lots of times to find work in the business. Why do journalists thinks they arevso bloody important, the public could not give a toss these days if avpaper is free or paid for.

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  • February 24, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    This is great and all, but surely a look at Bullivant Media’s most recent filed accounts gives you a more accurate reflection of where the company is at right now..

    And I quote: “The company is insolvent and relies on the support of its bankers. Assurances have been received that such support will continue to be given.”

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  • February 24, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Well done Bullivant Media. You’re a great company to work for and I’m proud of all we have achieved over the last few years.

    You’re also wrong Obsman. The Bullivants purchased Observer Standard Newspapers from insolvency a few years ago. Bullivant Media is doing well in print and online, and going from strength to strength.

    Go Bullivants!

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  • February 25, 2016 at 10:42 am

    There ARE some very good free papers out there! Check out John Elworthy’s Cambridge Times for example.
    Others ARE rubbish – our own for example, which just trots a handful of stories from the previous week’s paid-for, only a day later!!
    Once thought that ALL papers would be free one day, covered by the progress of advertising avenues: then along came the suits to give it all away without revenue!!
    But most of these papers DO try and on many areas are the last remaining bastions of local journalism, so good luck to them all.

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  • February 25, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I, too, offer my congrats to Bullivants as a success story, which is heartening to hear of in these days of print woe. Well done to them. I just hope, however, that they have a lot of subs who know where to put an apostrophe (Danielle) and how to spell (Chris).

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  • February 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Surprised to see the council owned newspapers are included in these figures alongside real newspapers. A quick scroll down the list highlights Hackney Today and Waltham Forest News, and I’m sure there are others.

    Being included in ABC gives legitimacy to these products, something for the organisation to think about. To my mind they shouldn’t be listed with privately owned papers.

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