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Regional ABCs: Circulation up at dailies-turned-weeklies

Two regional dailies which switched to publishing weekly in October have seen their circulations increase.

The Gloucestershire Echo topped the latest ABC figures for paid-for titles, while fellow Trinity Mirror newspaper The Citizen, Gloucester, came in third.

The pair made the switch from daily to weekly in October, and the Echo has posted an 18pc year-on-year increase in circulation for the period ending December 2017.

ABC issued both titles with separate certificates during 2018, showing their average circulations as dailies from January to September, and as weeklies from October to December.

Glos front

The Echo’s average circulation as a daily from January to September stood at 6,978, while The Citizen’s certificate for the same period showed it had an average circulation of 7,541.

As a weekly, from October to December, the Echo’s stands at 9,543, while The Citizen’s stands at 9,611.

Of the paid-for titles which had published as weeklies all year, the KM Group’s Folkestone & Hythe Express topped the charts with a 10pc year-on-year increase from December 2016 to December 2017, giving it a total circulation of 1,717.

Scotland on Sunday, whose circulation now stands at 16,289, was the only other paid-for non-daily to experience an increase.

Of the free weeklies, Archant sister titles the Ilford Recorder and Wanstead & Woodford Recorder topped the charts with 69pc and 34pc increases in circulation respectively.

The Ilford edition of the paper is counted as a free title, but has a paid-for circulation of 2,303 out of an overall circulation of 6,192.

Another of the company’s weeklies, the Sudbury Mercury, came third in the table with a 22pc rise.

Free titles to experience a single digit circulation increase were the Ealing Gazette, Runcorn and Widnes World, Dearne Valley Weekender, Nuneation News, Bury St Edmunds Mercury and Rotherham Record.

Full figures for paid-for weeklies, in order of circulation increase, are as follows. Scroll down for the list of free weeklies.

Product ABC Total YoY change
Gloucestershire Echo 9,543 18%
Folkestone & Hythe Express 1,717 10%
Gloucester Citizen 9,611 10%
Scotland on Sunday 16,289 1%
Reading Chronicle 7,201 0%
Arran Banner 2,930 0%
Ayr Advertiser 2,231 -2%
Oban Times 10,538 -2%
Stirling Observer (Fri) 2,262 -2%
East Lothian Courier 9,969 -3%
Ludlow Advertiser 3,084 -3%
Rutherglen Reformer 2,233 -3%
Stirling Observer (Wed) 5,054 -3%
Stroud News & Journal 7,350 -3%
Knutsford Guardian 4,289 -4%
Romford Recorder 10,755 -4%
Campbeltown Courier & Argyllshire Advertiser 5,039 -5%
Herne Bay Gazette 1,680 -5%
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 2,097 -5%
Exeter – Express & Echo (Thursday) 11,710 -5%
Sleaford Target 3,134 -5%
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 12,235 -5%
Penarth Times 3,152 -5%
Border Telegraph 2,627 -5%
Hackney Gazette 1,681 -6%
Blairgowrie Advertiser 1,279 -6%
Malvern Gazette 8,291 -6%
Northern Times 2,592 -6%
Peeblesshire News 3,134 -6%
Hampshire Chronicle 7,489 -6%
Impartial Reporter 10,068 -6%
Annandale Observer 4,260 -7%
Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 4,669 -7%
Free Press Monmouthshire & Pontypool 3,216 -7%
John O’Groat Journal 5,048 -7%
New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times 14,509 -7%
Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette 3,036 -7%
Falmouth & Helston Packet 4,703 -7%
Harwich & Manningtree Standard 4,447 -7%
Helensburgh Advertiser 3,463 -7%
Hereford Times 18,460 -7%
Milford Mercury 1,689 -7%
Rotherham & South Yorkshire Advertiser 18,772 -7%
Salisbury Journal 12,904 -7%
Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer 2,554 -7%
Witney Gazette 4,430 -7%
Yorkshire – Gazette & Herald 7,099 -7%
Cumnock Chronicle 3,688 -7%
Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury 9,967 -8%
Gravesend & Dartford Messenger 3,421 -8%
South Shropshire Journal 5,079 -8%
Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press 5,260 -8%
West Highland Free Press 5,600 -8%
Bridport News 5,458 -8%
Caithness Courier 3,743 -8%
Craven Herald & Pioneer 8,624 -8%
Goole Times (Incorporating Selby Times) 12,692 -8%
Ilkley Gazette 2,938 -8%
Lincolnshire Echo 13,026 -8%
Romsey Advertiser 4,642 -8%
South Wales Guardian 3,844 -8%
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 2,903 -8%
The Galloway News 4,849 -8%
Western Telegraph 10,247 -8%
Wilts & Glos Standard 6,284 -8%
Barry & District News 2,979 -8%
Bucks Free Press 10,704 -8%
Hexham Courant 10,247 -8%
Keighley News 6,730 -8%
Tivy-Side Advertiser 4,394 -8%
Wiltshire Times 7,085 -8%
Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 6,192 -9%
East Kent Mercury 6,998 -9%
Kentish Gazette 6,487 -9%
Ayrshire Post 12,942 -9%
Bath Chronicle 8,587 -9%
Central Fife Times & Advertiser 3,150 -9%
Clacton Gazette 9,587 -9%
Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 1,764 -9%
Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Wed) 5,009 -9%
Dunfermline Press & West of Fife Advertiser 9,245 -9%
Gazette & Herald 10,540 -9%
Retford Times 5,069 -9%
Westmorland Gazette 16,206 -9%
Wishaw Press 4,509 -9%
Bicester Advertiser 2,532 -9%
Boston Target 7,232 -9%
Chard & Ilminster News 3,307 -9%
Darlington & Stockton Times 14,214 -9%
Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Fri) 8,612 -9%
Gloucestershire Gazette 7,347 -9%
Halstead Gazette 3,067 -9%
Leek Post & Times 7,658 -9%
Maldon & Burnham Standard 4,950 -9%
The Oxford Times 7,283 -9%
The Herald 5,919 -9%
Isle of Wight County Press 23,006 -9%
Beccles & Bungay Journal 3,640 -10%
Annandale Herald and Moffat News 2,805 -10%
Faversham News 1,710 -10%
Kentish Express 7,951 -10%
Largs & Millport Weekly News 3,015 -10%
Sittingbourne News Extra 3,898 -10%
Ashbourne News Telegraph 3,629 -10%
Bridgwater Mercury 6,324 -10%
Bury Times 8,459 -10%
Clydebank Post 3,745 -10%
East Kilbride News 4,552 -10%
Guardian (Northwich, Winsford & Middlewich) 8,192 -10%
Inverness Courier (Fri) 7,719 -10%
Lennox Herald 5,045 -10%
Somerset County Gazette 11,145 -10%
Strathearn Herald 1,235 -10%
Andover Advertiser 6,823 -10%
Cumberland News 16,236 -10%
Essex County Standard 9,475 -10%
The Watford Observer 8,991 -10%
Sunday Life 32,892 -10%
Dereham & Fakenham Times 3,945 -11%
Great Yarmouth Mercury 10,023 -11%
Kent Messenger 20,800 -11%
Sheerness Times Guardian 4,503 -11%
Bracknell News 2,706 -11%
Irvine Herald and Kilwinning Chronicle 3,262 -11%
Ross-shire Journal 4,213 -11%
Slough Eton & Windsor Observer 3,474 -11%
Staffordshire Newsletter 7,523 -11%
The Huntly Express 1,803 -11%
Basingstoke Gazette 7,204 -11%
Croydon Advertiser 6,203 -11%
Hinckley Times 7,221 -11%
Macclesfield Express 6,318 -11%
North Norfolk News 4,273 -12%
Sidmouth Herald 4,386 -12%
Medway Messenger (Monday) 3,680 -12%
Newport Advertiser 4,383 -12%
Prestwich and Whitefield Guide 1,186 -12%
Braintree & Witham Times 6,634 -12%
East Coast and The Wolds Target 3,585 -12%
Ham & High Broadway 524 -12%
Inverness Courier (Tue) 5,253 -12%
Kilmarnock Standard 7,474 -12%
Loughborough Echo 7,913 -12%
Perthshire Advertiser (Fri) 6,067 -12%
Tamworth Herald 9,955 -12%
The Mid Devon Gazette 6,097 -12%
Irvine Times 1,831 -12%
Warrington Guardian 12,501 -12%
West Cumberland Times & Star 8,721 -12%
Lowestoft Journal 8,326 -13%
Bridgnorth Journal 4,589 -13%
Barking & Dagenham Post 3,699 -13%
Crewe Chronicle 6,821 -13%
Forres Gazette 1,733 -13%
Hamilton Advertiser 8,404 -13%
Llanelli Star 6,770 -13%
Scunthorpe Telegraph 12,579 -13%
The West Lothian Courier 5,555 -13%
Western Gazette 13,133 -13%
Mid Somerset Gazette 5,120 -13%
Rossendale Free Press 5,579 -13%
Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News 4,809 -13%
Sunday Herald 18,387 -13%
Liverpool Sunday Echo 14,652 -14%
Accrington Observer 5,343 -14%
Black Country Bugle 6,614 -14%
Carmarthen Journal 8,372 -14%
Epping Forest Guardian 3,495 -14%
Newcastle Sunday Sun 20,155 -14%
Northern Scot 7,665 -14%
Perthshire Advertiser (Tue) 2,760 -14%
Torquay – Herald Express 14,093 -14%
Uttoxeter Advertiser 2,320 -14%
Waltham Forest Guardian 2,508 -14%
Whitehaven News 7,225 -14%
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 6,046 -15%
Barnsley Chronicle 19,855 -15%
Brentwood Gazette 7,579 -15%
Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser 5,023 -15%
Glamorgan Gazette 4,779 -15%
Sunday Mercury 13,820 -15%
The Banffshire Advertiser 1,889 -15%
Rochdale Observer (Sat) 7,490 -15%
Surrey Advertiser 14,429 -15%
Wales on Sunday 9,898 -15%
Exmouth Journal 4,566 -16%
Aldershot News & Mail 4,607 -16%
Chester Chronicle 7,023 -16%
Hertfordshire Mercury 9,157 -16%
Sevenoaks Chronicle 5,669 -16%
Somerset Guardian 3,698 -16%
Surrey Mirror 6,766 -16%
The Banffshire Herald 1,244 -16%
Mid Somerset Journal 5,130 -16%
Frome Standard 3,248 -17%
Highland News 3,201 -17%
North Devon Journal 13,088 -17%
North Star 1,828 -17%
Gwent Gazette 1,366 -17%
Pontypridd & Llantrisant Observer 1,681 -17%
Welwyn Hatfield Times 7,084 -18%
Cornish Guardian 11,789 -18%
Cornishman 8,430 -18%
Cynon Valley Leader 1,623 -18%
Kent and Sussex Courier 12,968 -18%
Stockport Express 5,217 -18%
West Briton 15,498 -18%
Bucks Advertiser & Examiner 3,786 -18%
Birmingham Post 3,362 -19%
Essex Chronicle 13,484 -19%
Rochdale Observer (Wed) 4,031 -20%
Dover Express 3,702 -21%
North Wales Weekly News 5,072 -21%
Rhondda Leader 2,075 -21%
Merthyr Express 2,798 -22%
Banffshire Journal 2,051 -23%
Heywood Advertiser 1,518 -23%
Isle of Thanet Gazette 6,016 -23%
Herts & Essex Observer 5,184 -25%
Holyhead and Bangor Mail 3,120 -25%
Middleton Guardian 1,936 -25%
Southport Visiter 3,059 -26%
Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald 3,517 -28%
Ormskirk Advertiser 1,702 -28%
Wanstead & Woodford Guardian 1,405 -54%
East Grinstead Courier 1,350 -60%
Oldham Times 6,737 N/A

Full figures for free weeklies, in order of circulation growth, are as follows:

Product ABC Total YoY change
Ilford Recorder 8,671 69%
Wanstead & Woodford Recorder 5,732 34%
Sudbury Mercury 12,160 22%
Ealing Gazette 22,923 6%
Runcorn and Widnes World 22,196 4%
Dearne Valley Weekender 49,497 3%
Nuneaton News 28,226 3%
Bury St Edmunds Mercury 22,480 2%
Rotherham Record 51,926 1%
Bromley Times 4,846 0%
Champion 164,303 0%
Midweek Visiter 56,518 0%
Sale & Altrincham Messenger 34,896 0%
Advertiser 18,249 0%
Uxbridge Gazette 25,292 0%
Aberdeen Citizen 40,416 0%
Hackney Today 91,762 0%
Waltham Forest News 97,230 0%
Dumfries Courier 19,937 -1%
Cambs Times 11,981 -2%
Chester-Le-Street Advertiser 13,845 -2%
Consett-Stanley Advertiser 22,915 -2%
Wisbech Standard 9,546 -2%
Brentwood Recorder 2,296 -2%
Chronicle and Informer 33,018 -2%
Ely Standard 5,393 -2%
Coastal Scene 9,081 -3%
Norwich Extra 57,487 -3%
Stowmarket Mercury 11,579 -3%
Wolverhampton Chronicle 46,252 -3%
Durham Advertiser 21,067 -3%
Halesowen Chronicle 27,091 -3%
Stourbridge Chronicle 36,733 -3%
Diss Mercury 14,700 -4%
Stretford & Urmston Messenger 16,606 -4%
Wirral Globe 85,064 -4%
Islington Gazette 6,496 -4%
Sutton Coldfield Observer 42,629 -4%
Cannock Chronicle 47,932 -5%
North Somerset Times 35,239 -5%
Telford Journal 39,270 -5%
Dudley Chronicle 33,311 -5%
Manchester Weekly News 235,545 -5%
Northern Scot Mid Week Extra 15,553 -5%
Ham and High Express 8,071 -5%
The Advertiser – Waveney Edition 40,072 -6%
Walsall Chronicle 41,224 -6%
KM Extra (Thanet) 38,592 -6%
Letchworth GC & Baldock Comet 18,324 -6%
Solihull News 44,786 -6%
The Advertiser – Yarmouth Edition 37,664 -7%
Hunts Post 36,435 -7%
Oswestry and Border Chronicle 10,410 -7%
Shrewsbury Chronicle 29,284 -7%
Exmouth Herald 13,414 -8%
Biggleswade, Sandy & Potton Comet 9,315 -8%
Hitchin Comet 17,131 -8%
Dunmow Broadcast 11,182 -9%
Leigh, Tyldesley & Atherton Journal 28,476 -9%
The Herts Advertiser 33,941 -9%
Midweek – Weston Super Mare 24,966 -10%
Saffron Walden Reporter 15,019 -10%
Lichfield Mercury 26,235 -10%
Sandwell Chronicle 38,528 -11%
St. Helens Star 49,751 -11%
The Shuttle 29,532 -12%
Halesowen News 28,284 -13%
North Devon Gazette 34,516 -13%
Redditch & Alcester Advertiser 33,749 -13%
Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury 11,663 -13%
Royston Crow 10,295 -13%
Stourbridge News 39,594 -14%
Stevenage Comet 24,983 -14%
Docklands & East London Advertiser 5,320 -14%
Messenger Extra (Gravesend, Dartford and Swanley) 16,783 -14%
Bromsgrove Advertiser/Droitwich Spa Advertiser 32,044 -15%
Fife & Kinross Extra 11,182 -16%
Thetford & Watton Times 15,034 -17%
Reading Midweek 30,632 -17%
Brent and Kilburn Times 11,711 -18%
Romford and Havering Post 13,414 -18%
The Post (Bolton) 9,500 -18%
KM Extra (Canterbury) 16,585 -18%
Worcester Journal (Berrows) 31,428 -19%
Wood and Vale 4,688 -19%
The Evesham and Cotswold Journal 20,090 -20%
Midweek (Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead) 26,864 -20%
Inverness Scene 10,435 -20%
Great Barr Observer 12,959 -20%
The Reporter 21,781 -21%
Warrington Post 14,032 -26%
Folkestone Herald 9,632 -26%
Chorley & Leyland Citizen 12,692 -30%
Bexley Times 10,460 -31%
Paisley People 1,875 -34%
Newham Recorder 11,090 -38%
Walsall Advertiser 21,707 -46%
Blackburn Post 9,435 N/A

9 comments

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  • March 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm
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    “Scotland on Sunday, whose circulation now stands at 16,289, was the only other paid-for non-daily to experience an increase”
    I beg to differ HTFP. The Arran Banner recorded a 0.3% year-on-year plus and worked damned hard in its local community to achieve that. There are only two titles who recorded true pluses in the UK Congratulations to the Folkestone & Hythe Express for a terrific performance. Daily turned weekly comparisons are meaningless, as are increases achieved by adding over 3k in bulk sales. A bit of analysis wouldn’t go amiss

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  • March 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm
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    With average decreases of 12-15%, on top of previous years’ bad numbers, you wonder how much longer is sadly left for many of these titles. The Birmingham Post is particularly dire, selling just over 3000 with bulk sales and freebies included. Not that long ago (ten years maybe), it sold over 20000 as a daily. A great shame.

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  • March 1, 2018 at 3:29 pm
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    Yet more staggering losses for Archants Norfolk weekly paper portfolio raises the question of just how far are these allowed to slip before their copy sales are deemed to be unacceptable and unprofitable and action is finally taken to pull the plug or go free?
    With sales as bad as these reported today they must surely be running at a loss and can longer be viable.

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  • March 2, 2018 at 10:17 am
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    Let’s look at a bit of background. Dailies turned weeklies enjoy a significant spike in sales which is not maintained and then the weekly sells significantly less than it did as a daily. Turning weeklies into dailies has proved a failed business initiative. The proof: JP switched dailies selling 14,000 to 18,000 copies into weeklies because they were not sustainable and they now sell far less than they did six days a week. Other dailies have continued their sales decline and haven’t been switched eg Hartlepool Mail on 4,000 plus. So embarrassed is JP at the sales figures papers such as the Halifax Courier are omitted from the league tables of doom.

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  • March 2, 2018 at 10:36 am
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    @Archie
    I would suggest a merger of the five east Norfolk weeklies into one for the whole area which would reduce resources, costs and repeat coverage,
    As all three paid fors sell such a pitiful few, the best option would be to make this bumper weekly a free paper thus giving the ad reps more of a chance of selling into it , it’s either that or closure as far as I can see as if this level of consistent decline continues the papers would completely disappear within the next couple of years.

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  • March 2, 2018 at 12:59 pm
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    It’s hard to disagree with the points you make @WestYorksAnalyst but my greater concern is the apparent lack of a Plan B by the publisher, their usual next step when ABCs are released is to pass the loss on to the customer in the form of yet another unwarranted price rise which only fails to drive ve more current buyers away that it gains in additional revenue.
    With ailing and failing papers continuing to lose readers and revenue week after week the only options are:ignore things and carry on as now and let the market take its obvious course resulting in likely closure,go free, go online only, merge titles or close them completely, I can’t see any other options.
    The time for indecision and inaction has passed as at current rates we will be seeing long standing titles close continuously all through the coming year.

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  • March 2, 2018 at 2:05 pm
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    Am I missing something? I don’t see how an average daily circulation of 6,978, equal to 41,868 copies over a six-day week, compared with a now weekly circulation of 9,543 is an increase!

    The historic evidence of previous daily to weekly conversions suggest that the new weekly figures will drop to the same as the previous daily ones within 18 to 24 months.

    Cover price increases offset some of the loss in income but the rest will come from cuts in editorial staff and savings on distribution – both of which damage these ailing titles even further.

    I’m all for the digital-first strategy but decimating print titles this quickly only provides shareholders with a short-term gain and is partially why the transition to digital is proving so difficult.

    It pretty much puts these titles on an instant level playing field with any hyperlocal start-up.

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  • March 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm
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    Well done the Arran Banner. Small is indeed beautiful. The old, traditional ways of putting a newspaper together still hold good. It also helps that the team have experienced hands on board.

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  • March 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm
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    Cheers Eyebrox. We have a small but dedicated team who know their patch inside out. They deserve enormous credit. We also like to think we make the most of traditional print as well as digital. Around 13% of the Banner’s circulation now comes from digital subscribers. Crucially they are happy to pay for unique local content. We value our content (and our journalists) and don’t give it away for free.

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