ABC Analysis : Regional Newspapers Jul-Dec 2011
Overview by Fiona Booth – Research Manager
Regional press had a poor finish to last year, according to the latest ABC figures released for the six month period July to December 2011. Of all the titles/groups reporting circulation figures for the six month audit, only 16% posted increases when compared to the first six months of 2011. For the 84% majority, however, it was declining circulations by varying degrees all round.
The highest circulating regional newspaper group was the Sunday World – All Editions, up 2% on the six month period ending June 2011 to post a circulation figure of 251,455. The highest circulating regional title was the Nottingham & Long Eaton Topper at 212,324 copies, which was pretty much on par with its circulation for the last audit period.
The addition of free title Ealing Leader into the Ealing Gazette Series saw the Series putting on the greatest number of actual copies (27,545) and percentage growth (380%) period on period.
At the other end of the scale, The Aberdeen Citizen lost the most copies on the previous six month period, and amongst the Scottish non daily titles the greatest percentage decline too, down 21%. However, despite losing 14,207 copies it is still the highest circulating non daily regional title in Scotland. In terms of percentage circulation decline, the Belfast News fell the furthest, down 32% compared to the six months ending June 2011. Both titles have reportedly cut back on their distribution areas which will account for these big circulation losses.
In Scotland, all of the daily regional titles took a hit across the last six months of 2011. The Aberdeen Press and Journal is the highest circulating at 67,781, but this is down 4.6% on Jan-Jun 2011. In January this year, the P&J made the full move from broadsheet to a compact, so it will be interesting to see if the resize has a positive effect on circulations moving forwards. Staying up in Aberdeen, the Evening Express lost the most actual copies (down 3,811) as well as percentage circulation (8%) amongst the dailies.
Amongst the non daily Scottish regional titles, the majority posted declines on the previous six months, but there were a few positive glimmers. The Fife Leader put on the most physical copies at an extra 1,003, while the Paisley People saw the highest percentage growth, up 11.6% on the six months ending June 2011.
All figures sourced from MediaTel and ABC.