The latest ABC figures have revealed the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on regional dailies – including the UK’s former top seller experiencing the biggest circulation drop over the first half of this year.
ABC has released its figures for January to June 2021, which show that all daily titles across the country recorded double-digit decreases in circulation over the period.
The effects of the pandemic on print have now become clearer, with year-on-year circulation decreases as great as 37pc at Wolverhampton daily the Express & Star.
The Express & Star was as recently as 2017 the biggest selling UK regional daily, according to ABC.
It should be noted the number of free copies appearing on the paper’s certificate by the auditor decreased by 6,000 between the first halves of 2020 and 2021.
Belfast-based daily the Irish News topped the performance charts, but still experienced an 11.4pc decrease compared to the first half of last year.
Aberdeen-based daily the Press & Journal retained the crown it first took from the E&S in 2018 of having the highest circulation of any daily.
ABC gave all publishers the option of publishing two separate certificates in the first half of 2020 due to the extraordinary circumstances of the crisis – one being a standard certificate for January to June 2020 that includes all issues outside the lockdown period, and another showing circulation for issues affected by lockdown.
The figures below show the comparison between the standard certificates issued for both years.
|Title||Jan-Jun 2020||Jan-Jun 2021||Y-o-Y pc change|
|The Argus, Brighton||8948||7886||-11.9%|
|Paisley Daily Express||3802||3320||-12.7%|
|Eastern Daily Press||21692||18445||-15.0%|
|East Anglian Daily Times||10938||9276||-15.2%|
|Dundee Evening Telegraph||9648||8160||-15.4%|
|Aberdeen Evening Express||16098||13507||-16.1%|
|The News, Portsmouth||11589||9706||-16.2%|
|South Wales Echo||9951||8274||-16.9%|
|South Wales Evening Post||12595||10464||-16.9%|
|Aberdeen Press & Journal||38252||31629||-17.3%|
|Norwich Evening News||5200||4273||-17.8%|
|Hull Daily Mail||15856||12798||-19.3%|
|Southern Daily Echo||11206||9026||-19.5%|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||7845||5926||-24.5%|
|Manchester Evening News||29613||22107||-25.3%|
|Express & Star, Wolverhampton||31477||19683||-37.5%|