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Publisher hails ‘biggest growth in regional news business for decades’

A publishing boss is hailing what he called the “biggest growth in our regional news business for decades” after a 47pc rise in digital subscriptions.

DC Thomson, publisher of four daily newspaper titles in Dundee and Aberdeen, has filed its annual accounts for the year to April 2023.

They showed that although newspaper sales from newsstands fell during 2022-23, this was offset by a rise in print and digital subscriptions, with the latter up 47pc.

It resulted in overall circulation revenue falling by just 1pc to 72.3m.

DC Thomson’s Dundee headquarters.

DC Thomson’s Dundee headquarters.

DC Thomson publishes Aberdeen dailies the Press &Journal and Evening Express and the Dundee-based Courier, Evening Telegraph and Sunday Post.

As previously covered on HTFP, it announced 309 job losses during the year and the closure of five of its Dundee-based magazines – Living, Platinum, Evergreen, Shout, Animals & You and Animal Planet.

In additon, all the specialist craft, gardening, health and food publications it acquired from Colchester-based Aceville in 2018 closed, including Let’s Knit, Grow your Own, Healthy Diet, Busymitts and Craft Store

In the director’s report to the accounts, chairman Christopher Thomson said the closure decisions had been taken after the group had identified a “a number of titles which did not have a future with DCT.”

Mr Thomson was nevertheless upbeat about the company’s prospects going forward, with hopes being pinned on continued growth in digiatl subscriptions.

He said: “While the print market remains challenged, the acceleration of our transformation in the digital space is seeing some real success.

“Our strategy is focused on protecting traditional print revenues while diversifying in growing new revenue streams in digital, B2B and events – and building a profitable subscriptions-centred business.

“Digital transformation is the catalyst for creating exciting new opportunities and our approach has seen the biggest growth in our regional news business for decades with communities willing to subscribe to a quality digital news service.

“At the same time, The Press and Journal and The Courier in print form remain in the top three bestselling regional dailies in the UK.”