ABCs: free Metro only anomaly in fifth consecutive month of UK newspaper print decline

By John McCarthy | Media editor

DMG Media


abc article

August 16, 2018 | 3 min read

All of the UK’s largest paid-for newspapers suffered a circulation decline as newsprint enters the fifth consecutive month of across the board erosion.

In July, DMG Media’s The Metro, freely distributed to the public, was the only title to report a growth in print distribution. London Evening Standard remained the second-most distributed free title on the market down 1.16% to 889k. Finally, City AM was down 5.4% to 85.9k.

Pew Research

Print circulations continue to decline

The Sun retained the highest paid for circulation of 1.4m. Year-on-year, this was down by 8.6%. Earlier this week The Drum columnist Ian Burrell explored The Sun's online ambitions as it jostles The Metro for digital supremacy.

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Next was Metro sister title the Daily Mail which was down 11.22% to 1.26m. Paul Dacre will soon end his stint as editor of the Daily Mail with a decline on circulation. Geordie Greig is primed as a replacement for November. There was a silver-lining, the title announced that t made up one in every four newspaper sales sold last month.

The Daily Mirror dropped 11% to 554k, The Times was down 4.31% to 430k and The Daily Telegraph fell 21.61% to 374k. A nuance in the Mirror and The Telegraph figures is that they have stopped counting freely distributed bulks. This has lessened the severity of circulation erosion at the titles.

Several months after its cost-cutting, tabloid format redesign, The Guardian was down 7.75% to 137k. It is still on course to turn a profit next year, however.

Johnston Press' The i, was down 8.93% to 243k. It shared some positive news with The Drum that it boasted the only Saturday edition to exhibit any growth. It was up 2.6% year-on-year, to 212,425.

The Metro's good news comes the same week it unveiled a partnership with The Simpsons creator Matt Groening. He has redesigned the title's masthead to promote his new Netflix show, Disenchanted.


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News Corp UK & Ireland Limited, is a British newspaper publisher, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the American mass media conglomerate News Corp.

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