Newsquest has resigned its titles from ABC membership – meaning the auditor will no longer publish circulation figures from the regional publisher.
ABC has confirmed the move, which means the six-monthly regional results published in February were the last to feature the company’s print publications.
In February it was revealed the Newsquest-owned Bracknell News was the only paid-for weekly in the UK to experience a circulation increase during 2018, while the company’s Brighton-based title The Argus was the second best performing daily across the country.
Newsquest said the move came after “a competitive tender exercise with prospective suppliers”, and it will now be audited by BPA Worldwide.
An ABC spokeswoman told HTFP: “I can confirm Newsquest has made the decision to resign its titles from ABC membership.
“Effective from 1 April 2019, Newsquest’s regional newspapers and associated websites ceased to be in membership.
“ABC figures for Newsquest were last published in our February 2019 regional report for the reporting period ending December 2018.
“These figures have been audited.”
Confirmation of the move comes after ABC revealed changes to the way it releases certificates to the regional press.
The changes mean individual titles’ certificates will now be published on the auditor’s website five working days after their circulation figures are submitted instead of en masse every six or 12 months.
The spokeswoman added: “In consultation with the industry (both buyers and sellers, reporting standards groups and our board) we’ve changed the way we release certificates for the regional press.
“The new system (similar to what we do for the business press) is that we release certificates on our website, five working days after a publisher has submitted their circulation figures to us.
“This puts certificates out into the market more quickly rather than holding up the data until a specified release date.”
ABC will still continue to publish regular summaries of regional press figures.
A Newsquest spokesman said: “We recently conducted a competitive tender exercise with prospective suppliers for our audience audit work and, as a result, selected BPA Worldwide to provide these services for the current audit period.
“To ensure we meet the required standards and deliver value for all stakeholders we regularly review arrangements for the provision of such services.”