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ABCs: Sole paid-for weekly records circulation increase

The Bracknell News was the only paid-for weekly newspaper in the country to experience a circulation increase during 2018, according to today’s ABC figures.

The News posted a modest increase of 1pc between January and December last year, when compared with the same period in 2017.

The Newsquest-owned News is a 75pc paid-for product, as it was in 2017, with ABC classing anything which is over 50pc paid-for in that category.

The Bridport News, another title owned by the same company, posted the best return for a 100pc paid-for product, recording a 2pc year-on-year circulation decline.

Bracknell

Among the non-dailies classed as free by ABC, Cornwall’s The Packet, a third Newsquest weekly, topped the charts with a 246pc increase.

In 2017, The Packet had been recorded as a 100pc paid-for product by ABC.

The Ely Standard, which is a 58pc free product, recorded the next-best figures with a 4pc year-on-year increase.

Other titles which recorded increases include The Messenger, which covers parts of Greater Manchester and the surrounding area, the Hunts Post and the Dunmow Broadcast.

All three of those newspapers are more than 96pc free products.

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

Title Jan-Dec 18 YoY % Change % Paid
Bracknell News 2,738 1% 75% Paid
Bridport News 5,353 -2% 100% Paid
Stirling Observer (Fri) 2,208 -2% 100% Paid
Arran Banner 2,846 -3% 100% Paid
Reading Chronicle 6,899 -4% 74% Paid
Slough Eton & Windsor Observer 3,320 -4% 74% Paid
Blairgowrie Advertiser 1,224 -4% 100% Paid
Inverness Courier (Fri) 7,374 -5% 100% Paid
Stroud News & Journal 7,021 -5% 100% Paid
The Oxford Times 6,950 -5% 95% Paid
Campbeltown Courier & Argyllshire Advertiser 4,814 -5% 100% Paid
Stirling Observer (Wed) 4,814 -5% 100% Paid
Bucks Free Press 10,078 -6% 80% Paid
Impartial Reporter 9,430 -6% 100% Paid
The Galloway News 4,555 -6% 100% Paid
Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 4,405 -6% 100% Paid
Romsey Advertiser 4,349 -6% 100% Paid
Tivy-Side Advertiser 4,114 -6% 100% Paid
Peeblesshire News 2,939 -6% 100% Paid
Annandale Herald and Moffat News 2,651 -6% 100% Paid
Strathearn Herald 1,157 -6% 100% Paid
Hereford Times 17,206 -7% 100% Paid
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 11,390 -7% 100% Paid
Oban Times 9,820 -7% 100% Paid
Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press 4,911 -7% 100% Paid
South Shropshire Journal 4,720 -7% 100% Paid
Chard & Ilminster News 3,084 -7% 100% Paid
Largs & Millport Weekly News 2,805 -7% 100% Paid
Bicester Advertiser 2,356 -7% 99% Paid
Milford Mercury 1,568 -7% 100% Paid
Sunday Life 30,435 -8% 99% Paid
Isle of Wight County Press 21,245 -8% 100% Paid
Westmorland Gazette 14,894 -8% 100% Paid
Darlington & Stockton Times 13,117 -8% 100% Paid
Goole Times (Incorporating Selby Times) 11,671 -8% 100% Paid
Western Telegraph 9,475 -8% 100% Paid
East Lothian Courier 9,192 -8% 100% Paid
Great Yarmouth Mercury 9,181 -8% 100% Paid
Essex County Standard 8,700 -8% 99% Paid
Hampshire Chronicle 6,897 -8% 100% Paid
Gloucestershire Gazette 6,744 -8% 100% Paid
Bridgwater Mercury 5,845 -8% 100% Paid
West Highland Free Press 5,155 -8% 100% Paid
John O’Groat Journal 4,635 -8% 100% Paid
Witney Gazette 4,065 -8% 100% Paid
Sidmouth Herald 4,028 -8% 100% Paid
Knutsford Guardian 3,946 -8% 100% Paid
Annandale Observer 3,901 -8% 100% Paid
Ayrshire Post 11,781 -9% 100% Paid
Salisbury Journal 11,738 -9% 100% Paid
Somerset County Gazette 10,195 -9% 100% Paid
Romford Recorder 9,741 -9% 61% Paid
Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury 9,081 -9% 93% Paid
Clacton Gazette 8,776 -9% 99% Paid
Perthshire Advertiser (Fri) 5,540 -9% 100% Paid
Harwich & Manningtree Standard 4,067 -9% 100% Paid
North Norfolk News 3,891 -9% 100% Paid
Beccles & Bungay Journal 3,297 -9% 100% Paid
Helensburgh Advertiser 3,138 -9% 100% Paid
Ludlow Advertiser 2,822 -9% 100% Paid
Border Telegraph 2,384 -9% 100% Paid
Northern Times 2,372 -9% 100% Paid
Warrington Guardian 11,743 -10% 100% Paid
Dunfermline Press & West of Fife Advertiser 8,350 -10% 100% Paid
Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Fri) 7,774 -10% 100% Paid
Macclesfield Express 5,666 -10% 100% Paid
Maldon & Burnham Standard 4,434 -10% 100% Paid
Ross-shire Journal 3,779 -10% 100% Paid
Cumnock Chronicle 3,332 -10% 100% Paid
Ashbourne News Telegraph 3,254 -10% 100% Paid
Irvine Herald and Kilwinning Chronicle 2,928 -10% 100% Paid
Halstead Gazette 2,776 -10% 100% Paid
Perthshire Advertiser (Tue) 2,499 -10% 100% Paid
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 1,881 -10% 100% Paid
Forres Gazette 1,559 -10% 100% Paid
Cumberland News 14,502 -11% 100% Paid
Hexham Courant 9,174 -11% 100% Paid
Bath Chronicle 7,682 -11% 100% Paid
Malvern Gazette 7,396 -11% 100% Paid
Lowestoft Journal 7,393 -11% 100% Paid
Boston Target 6,411 -11% 100% Paid
Andover Advertiser 6,067 -11% 100% Paid
Crewe Chronicle 6,063 -11% 100% Paid
Wilts & Glos Standard 5,596 -11% 100% Paid
Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 5,521 -11% 100% Paid
Rossendale Free Press 4,944 -11% 100% Paid
Lennox Herald 4,485 -11% 100% Paid
Bridgnorth Journal 4,105 -11% 100% Paid
Free Press Monmouthshire & Pontypool 2,851 -11% 99% Paid
Central Fife Times & Advertiser 2,816 -11% 100% Paid
Penarth Times 2,816 -11% 99% Paid
Barry & District News 2,642 -11% 97% Paid
Strathspey & Badenoch Herald 2,582 -11% 100% Paid
The Huntly Express 1,599 -11% 100% Paid
The Watford Observer 7,959 -12% 87% Paid
West Cumberland Times & Star 7,670 -12% 100% Paid
Bury Times 7,473 -12% 100% Paid
Kilmarnock Standard 6,588 -12% 100% Paid
The Herald 5,232 -12% 100% Paid
Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Tue) 4,405 -12% 100% Paid
South Wales Guardian 3,379 -12% 100% Paid
Barnsley Chronicle 17,374 -13% 100% Paid
Lincolnshire Echo 11,342 -13% 100% Paid
Exeter – Express & Echo (Thursday) 10,214 -13% 100% Paid
Gazette & Herald 9,157 -13% 98% Paid
Wiltshire Times 6,179 -13% 98% Paid
Newport Advertiser 3,826 -13% 100% Paid
Caithness Courier 3,263 -13% 100% Paid
Sleaford Target 2,721 -13% 100% Paid
Sunday Mercury 11,953 -14% 100% Paid
Craven Herald & Pioneer 7,443 -14% 100% Paid
Guardian (Northwich, Winsford & Middlewich) 7,010 -14% 100% Paid
Basingstoke Gazette 6,232 -14% 100% Paid
Hinckley Times 6,220 -14% 100% Paid
Whitehaven News 6,213 -14% 100% Paid
Llanelli Star 5,816 -14% 100% Paid
Braintree & Witham Times 5,713 -14% 99% Paid
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser 5,177 -14% 100% Paid
Accrington Observer 4,603 -14% 100% Paid
Dereham & Fakenham Times 3,401 -14% 100% Paid
Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette 2,623 -14% 100% Paid
Rutherglen Reformer 1,918 -14% 100% Paid
Newcastle Sunday Sun 17,071 -15% 100% Paid
Torquay – Herald Express 12,031 -15% 100% Paid
Scunthorpe Telegraph 10,708 -15% 100% Paid
Hamilton Advertiser 7,156 -15% 100% Paid
Carmarthen Journal 7,099 -15% 100% Paid
Yorkshire – Gazette & Herald 6,005 -15% 100% Paid
Chester Chronicle 6,001 -15% 100% Paid
Black Country Bugle 5,610 -15% 100% Paid
The Mid Devon Gazette 5,214 -15% 100% Paid
Retford Times 4,290 -15% 100% Paid
Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News 4,102 -15% 100% Paid
East Kilbride News 3,890 -15% 100% Paid
Wishaw Press 3,835 -15% 100% Paid
Ayr Advertiser 1,901 -15% 100% Paid
The Banffshire Herald 1,059 -15% 100% Paid
Liverpool Sunday Echo 12,354 -16% 99% Paid
Wales on Sunday 8,279 -16% 100% Paid
Loughborough Echo 6,664 -16% 100% Paid
Leek Post & Times 6,460 -16% 100% Paid
Northern Scot 6,426 -16% 100% Paid
Staffordshire Newsletter 6,316 -16% 100% Paid
Isle of Thanet Gazette 5,050 -16% 100% Paid
Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser 4,224 -16% 100% Paid
Clydebank Post 3,133 -16% 100% Paid
Rochdale Observer (Sat) 6,242 -17% 100% Paid
The West Lothian Courier 4,599 -17% 100% Paid
Inverness Courier (Tue) 4,352 -17% 100% Paid
Mid Somerset Gazette 4,269 -17% 100% Paid
Dover Express 3,074 -17% 100% Paid
East Coast and The Wolds Target 2,979 -17% 100% Paid
Kent and Sussex Courier 10,696 -18% 100% Paid
West Briton 12,551 -19% 100% Paid
Essex Chronicle 10,943 -19% 99% Paid
North Devon Journal 10,586 -19% 100% Paid
Tamworth Herald 8,084 -19% 100% Paid
Cornishman 6,795 -19% 100% Paid
Sevenoaks Chronicle 4,575 -19% 100% Paid
Glamorgan Gazette 3,862 -19% 100% Paid
Epping Forest Guardian 2,825 -19% 74% Paid
Irvine Times 1,493 -19% 100% Paid
Hackney Gazette 1,363 -19% 91% Paid
Cynon Valley Leader 1,323 -19% 100% Paid
Western Gazette 10,531 -20% 100% Paid
Gloucestershire Echo 7,621 -20% 100% Paid
Hertfordshire Mercury 7,301 -20% 100% Paid
Keighley News 5,419 -20% 100% Paid
Stockport Express 4,201 -20% 100% Paid
Mid Somerset Journal 4,092 -20% 100% Paid
Rochdale Observer (Wed) 3,238 -20% 100% Paid
Barking & Dagenham Post 2,975 -20% 75% Paid
The Banffshire Advertiser 1,507 -20% 100% Paid
North Star 1,457 -20% 100% Paid
Surrey Mirror 5,328 -21% 100% Paid
Croydon Advertiser 4,918 -21% 100% Paid
Highland News 2,535 -21% 100% Paid
Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer 2,024 -21% 100% Paid
Ham & High Broadway 415 -21% 99% Paid
Aldershot News & Mail 3,618 -22% 100% Paid
Somerset Guardian 2,897 -22% 100% Paid
Ilkley Gazette 2,294 -22% 100% Paid
Rhondda Leader 1,629 -22% 100% Paid
Gloucester Citizen 7,449 -23% 100% Paid
Surrey Advertiser 10,946 -24% 100% Paid
Oldham Times 5,147 -24% 100% Paid
North Wales Weekly News 3,848 -24% 100% Paid
Birmingham Post 2,545 -24% 95% Paid
Southport Visiter 2,323 -24% 100% Paid
Merthyr Express 2,115 -24% 100% Paid
Pontypridd & Llantrisant Observer 1,277 -24% 100% Paid
Cornish Guardian 8,881 -25% 100% Paid
Middleton Guardian 1,454 -25% 100% Paid
Gwent Gazette 1,020 -25% 100% Paid
The Herald on Sunday 13,648 -26% 100% Paid
Ormskirk Advertiser 1,264 -26% 100% Paid
Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald 2,502 -29% 100% Paid
Frome Standard 2,269 -30% 100% Paid
Banffshire Journal 1,428 -30% 100% Paid
Holyhead and Bangor Mail 2,115 -32% 100% Paid
Scotland on Sunday 10,995 -33% 95% Paid
Heywood Advertiser 1,010 -34% 100% Paid
Welwyn Hatfield Times 4,597 -35% 100% Paid
Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 1,145 -35% 100% Paid
East Grinstead Courier 864 -36% 100% Paid
Brentwood Gazette 3,369 -56% 97% Paid
Folkestone Herald 4,103 -57% 100% Paid
Sunday National 12,844 N/A 100% Paid
County Times 10,371 N/A 100% Paid
Border Counties Advertiser 5,469 N/A 100% Paid
Your Local Guardian 4,272 N/A 56% Paid
Denbighshire Free Press 3,727 N/A 100% Paid
Whitchurch Herald 2,570 N/A 100% Paid

The list of free titles is as follows:

Title Jan-Dec 18 Yoy % Change % Free
Falmouth & Helston Packet 16,267 246% 73% Free
Ely Standard 5,590 4% 58% Free
The Messenger 35,422 2% 98% Free
Hunts Post 36,608 1% 96% Free
Dunmow Broadcast 11,257 1% 99% Free
Champion 164,579 0% 100% Free
Waltham Forest News 97,376 0% 100% Free
Hackney Today 91,843 0% 100% Free
Leigh, Tyldesley & Atherton Journal 28,411 0% 97% Free
Letchworth GC & Baldock Comet 18,313 0% 98% Free
Saffron Walden Reporter 14,972 0% 99% Free
North Somerset Times 34,971 -1% 99% Free
Stevenage Comet 24,847 -1% 99% Free
Hitchin Comet 16,974 -1% 99% Free
Wisbech Standard 9,464 -1% 93% Free
Bromley Times 4,814 -1% 100% Free
The Advertiser – Waveney Edition 39,385 -2% 100% Free
The Advertiser – Yarmouth Edition 36,845 -2% 100% Free
Cambs Times 11,741 -2% 96% Free
Brentwood Recorder 2,251 -2% 99% Free
The Shuttle 28,519 -3% 91% Free
Royston Crow 10,023 -3% 95% Free
The Herts Advertiser 32,729 -4% 96% Free
The Evesham and Cotswold Journal 19,198 -4% 77% Free
Brent and Kilburn Times 11,275 -4% 96% Free
Dumfries Courier 18,911 -5% 100% Free
Telford Journal 36,837 -6% 100% Free
Wirral Globe 79,351 -7% 98% Free
Shrewsbury Chronicle 27,366 -7% 96% Free
Midweek – Weston Super Mare 23,289 -7% 100% Free
Sudbury Mercury 11,217 -8% 100% Free
Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury 10,734 -8% 99% Free
Stowmarket Mercury 10,664 -8% 100% Free
St. Helens Star 45,276 -9% 97% Free
Halesowen News 25,790 -9% 100% Free
Islington Gazette 5,939 -9% 81% Free
North Devon Gazette 31,117 -10% 98% Free
Chorley & Leyland Citizen 15,774 -10% 100% Free
Biggleswade, Sandy & Potton Comet 8,334 -11% 100% Free
Sutton Coldfield Observer 37,342 -12% 99% Free
Diss Mercury 12,730 -13% 99% Free
Worcester Journal (Berrows) 27,013 -14% 99% Free
Stourbridge News 33,783 -15% 99% Free
Redditch & Alcester Advertiser 28,572 -15% 99% Free
Bury St Edmunds Mercury 19,211 -15% 100% Free
Bromsgrove Advertiser/Droitwich Spa Advertiser 26,797 -16% 99% Free
Runcorn and Widnes World 18,572 -16% 100% Free
Thetford & Watton Times 12,633 -16% 97% Free
Romford and Havering Post 11,277 -16% 100% Free
Newham Recorder 9,375 -16% 86% Free
Ilford Recorder 7,209 -17% 75% Free
Lichfield Mercury 21,642 -18% 97% Free
Norwich Extra 46,471 -19% 100% Free
Warrington Post 11,186 -20% 100% Free
Manchester Weekly News 178,425 -24% 100% Free
Reading Midweek 22,617 -26% 100% Free
Midweek (Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead) 19,606 -27% 100% Free
Midweek Visiter 39,390 -30% 100% Free
Ham and High Express 5,560 -31% 67% Free
Docklands & East London Advertiser 3,647 -31% 88% Free
Nuneaton News 18,789 -33% 91% Free
Wood and Vale 3,135 -33% 98% Free
Ealing Gazette 14,925 -35% 99% Free
Paisley People 1,221 -35% 100% Free
Fife & Kinross Extra 6,920 -38% 100% Free
Wanstead & Woodford Recorder 3,555 -38% 96% Free
Chronicle and Informer 20,185 -39% 100% Free
The Reporter 13,071 -40% 99% Free
Bexley Times 5,625 -46% 98% Free
Uxbridge Gazette 13,013 -49% 100% Free
Chester-Le-Street Advertiser 6,928 -50% 96% Free
Consett-Stanley Advertiser 10,679 -53% 96% Free
Durham Advertiser 9,864 -53% 94% Free
Chronicle Week 212,276 N/A 100% Free
Shrewsbury Ad Mag 31,011 N/A 100% Free
Exmouth Journal 26,432 N/A 94% Free
Ipswich Extra 14,140 N/A 100% Free
East Suffolk Extra 10,021 N/A 100% Free

6 comments

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  • February 28, 2019 at 6:29 pm
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    Can anyone solve the mystery of how to discover the circulations of Johnston Press – sorry, JPImedia – weeklies which no longer grace the ABCs? They seem to be a closely-guarded secret, unavailable for the last five years or so on internet searches. I’m assuming that they do still sell a few copies.

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  • March 1, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    My experience is that as an advertiser I asked for the circulation of my local JP title. Ad rep would not (or could not) tell me. All I received was readership for the print and web combined.

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  • March 1, 2019 at 12:59 pm
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    I wonder how many “shell” newspapers are on that list?
    I know of 3-4 such Reach titles around here, as in weekly papers which have no staff at all and are entirely populated by wholescale copy and pasted pages from the local daily over the past week.
    No new content whatsoever, but the audacity to charge readers between £1 and £1.50 for no more than 12 news pages, a good percentage of which has nothing to do with the patch.
    Once proud newspapers whose legacies are being dragged through the mud for the sake of a few measly bob. I honestly wish they’d close them down and let them die with dignity.

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  • March 1, 2019 at 1:04 pm
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    Sadly, Trinity Man, I believe you will get your wish sooner than you think. Call it intuition, call it cynicism, call it just a feeling in my water, but I smell the smell of massive axings very soon. Guess what – it will all be blamed on Brexit.

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  • March 1, 2019 at 1:19 pm
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    I firmly believe the car crash strategy of regular cover price rises is a major factor in the rapid decline of many of these papers, the foolish idea that charging more for less in a shrinking market will offset losses and increase revenue shows not how out of ideas an desperate things have become.

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  • March 5, 2019 at 4:21 pm
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    I really can’t think many of these papers have much of a future looking at the god awful figures above,certainly not in newsprint form that’s for sure.
    The ever downward spiral of declining sales goes on while costs to produce increase so it doesn’t take an expert on financial matters to see that when profitability and viability go there’s hardly any options left other than closure and for some of the papers listed it’ll be a happy release now they’ve become thin sickly versions of the once essential local papers they once were.

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