Some Daily Print Circulations Down 20%

Four regional daily titles lost more than a fifth of their print circulation in the first half of 2019 according to figures compiled by HTFP.

The Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Post, Lancashire Telegraph and Cambridge News all saw their overall circulations drop by 20pc or more in the period January to June, although all four titles performed better when free copies and bulk sales were disregarded.

For the second year running, the Belfast-based Irish News was the best-performing UK title of those audited by ABC, losing just under 5pc of its circulation in the first six months of the year.

However Carlisle daily the News & Star, which like other Newsquest-owned titles is now audited by BPA Worldwide, saw its east edition print circulation fall by just 0.68pc making it the top performer across both auditing bodies.

ABC BPA

Earlier this year, ABC announced it would no longer be publishing a six-monthly report on circulation figures for regional titles, saying it wants to get figures for individual titles published within five days of submission rather than wait for a particular date before publishing them en masse.

Meanwhile Newsquest announced it was pulling its titles out of ABC with effect from 1 April, and that future audits would be carried out by BPA.

Using figures available online from both organisations, HTFP has now put together the first comprehensive report bringing together all daily titles that continue to be audited on a six-monthly basis.

The list does not include any weekly titles as hardly any now report their figures six-monthly, with most having moved to annual auditing.

Apart from the Irish News, the best-performing daily titles in the ABC audit were the Paisley Daily Express, which saw its overall circulation drop 6pc, and the Dundee Courier and Manchester Evening News, both down 8pc.

The Press & Journal, Belfast Telegraph, East Anglian Daily Times and Eastern Daily Press were all down 9pc with every other daily listed recording a 10pc-plus drop.

Excluding bulks and free copies, the MEN was down 14.14pc, but the Derby Telegraph – which lost 18pc of its total circulation including bulks and frees – is down only 8pc in terms of single paid-for copies alone.

The Leicester Mercury and Nottingham Post were both down 27pc in terms of overall circulation, but 18pc and 12pc respectively when bulks and frees are excluded.

The officially-published BPA figures for Newsquest do not include a year-on-year comparison as this is the first time they have been audited by the new provider.

However when this year’s BPA-audited figures are compared with last year’s ABC-audited data, the best-performing titles are the News & Star and Brighton daily The Argus, whose overall circulation dropped just 2pc.

By contrast the Lancashire Telegraph was down 25pc year-on-year in terms of overall circulation, but when bulks and frees are excluded, sales of the Blackburn-based title dropped by 14.8pc.

The Bolton News, Worcester News and Bradford Telegraph and Argus all recorded single-digit declines when bulks and frees are disregarded.

The tables below include only daily titles which have reported figures on a six-monthly basis covering the period January to June 2019.

Almost all weekly titles now report annually, while a small number report them monthly.

Table 1.  Overall circulation January to June 2019

Title Jan-Jun 2019 % Change YoY
Irish News 31,995 -5%
Paisley Daily Express 4,121 -6%
Dundee Courier 31,544 -8%
Manchester Evening News 33,633 -8%
Press & Journal 41,689 -9%
Belfast Telegraph 32,538 -9%
East Anglian Daily Times 12,015 -9%
Eastern Daily Press 24,308 -9%
Lancashire Post 7,436 -11%
Yorkshire Post 18,534 -11%
Evening News 6,026 -11%
Birmingham Mail 13,606 -12%
Dundee Evening  Telegraph 10,918 -12%
News Letter 11,829 -12%
The Scotsman 14,938 -12%
The Sentinel, Stoke 19,476 -12%
Aberdeen Evening Express 18,266 -13%
Yorkshire Evening Post 8,951 -13%
Liverpool Echo 30,358 -13%
Newcastle Chronicle 17,974 -13%
The News, Portsmouth 12,832 -13%
Sheffield Star 11,910 -13%
Shropshire Star 18,891 -13%
South Wales Echo 10,942 -14%
Express & Star 36,276 -14%
South Wales Evening Post 14,283 -14%
Coventry Telegraph 9,754 -15%
Hull Daily Mail 18,559 -15%
Ipswich Star 5,107 -15%
Teesside Gazette 13,851 -15%
Plymouth Herald 11,479 -17%
The Post, Bristol 10,878 -17%
Derby Telegraph 13,810 -18%
Cambridge News 6,337 -21%
Leicester Mercury 15,460 -27%
Nottingham Post 10,890 -27%
BPA figures (Newsquest) *
Carlisle News and Star West 1,741 -1%
The Argus, Brighton 10,018 -2%
Carlisle News and Star East 4,467 -6%
The Bolton News 7,589 -8%
Worcester News 5,551 -8%
Telegraph & Argus, Bradford 10,363 -8%
The Mail, Barrow 4,869 -9%
The Press, York 10,743 -11%
Oxford Mail 8,141 -11%
Bournemouth Daily Echo 10,352 -11%
Southern Daily Echo 12,238 -12%
The Northern Echo 18,089 -12%
Swindon Advertiser 7,547 -12%
Dorset Echo 7,736 -12%
Colchester Daily Gazette 7,222 -14%
The Echo, Essex 13,902 -15%
South Wales Argus 8,110 -15%
Lancashire Telegraph 6,545 -25%
The Leader, Wrexham 5,698 N/A
* Comparison with ABC figures for Jan-Jun 2018.

Table 2. Single paid-for copies January to June 2019 (ie excluding bulks and frees)

Title Jan-Jun 2019 less bulks/frees % Change YoY
Irish News 31,814 -4.93
Paisley Daily Express 4,121 -5.87
Dundee Courier 31,323 -8.04
Derby Telegraph 13,516 -8.56
Press & Journal 41,359 -9.20
Eastern Daily Press 24,308 -9.26
East Anglian Daily Times 12,015 -9.41
Ipswich Star 5,107 -9.61
Evening News 6,026 -10.92
The Sentinel, Stoke 19,455 -10.96
The Scotsman 12,200 -11.20
Lancashire Post 7,436 -11.41
Yorkshire Post 17,276 -11.52
News Letter 11,704 -11.66
Birmingham Mail 13,574 -11.67
Dundee Evening  Telegraph 10,875 -11.95
Belfast Telegraph 23,547 -12.25
Liverpool Echo 30,310 -12.64
Sheffield Star 11,910 -12.80
Nottingham Post 10,789 -12.85
Aberdeen Evening Express 18,231 -13.01
The News, Portsmouth 12,819 -13.19
Yorkshire Evening Post 8,951 -13.28
Newcastle Chronicle 17,974 -13.40
Shropshire Star 18,057 -13.50
South Wales Echo 10,927 -13.61
Manchester Evening News 17,800 -14.14
South Wales Evening Post 14,202 -14.23
Teesside Gazette 13,851 -14.52
Coventry Telegraph 9,754 -14.72
Hull Daily Mail 18,518 -14.95
Express & Star 29,417 -16.96
Plymouth Herald 11,434 -16.98
Cambridge News 6,314 -17.64
The Post, Bristol 10,711 -17.72
Leicester Mercury 15,350 -18.17
BPA figures (Newsquest) *
Carlisle News & Star West 1,741 -0.68
The Bolton News 7,589 -7.07
Worcester News 5,551 -7.41
Telegraph & Argus, Bradford 9,963 -9.72
Bournemouth Daily Echo 10,352 -10.15
The Argus, Brighton 8,086 -10.30
Oxford Mail 8,106 -10.30
Southern Daily Echo 12,231 -10.49
The Northern Echo 18,089 -10.99
Dorset Echo 7,736 -11.08
Swindon Advertiser 7,200 -11.37
The Press, York 10,416 -11.51
The Mail, Barrow 4,668 -11.71
Carlisle News & Star East 4,136 -12.43
Colchester Daily Gazette 7,185 -12.70
The Echo, Essex 13,835 -13.40
Lancashire Telegraph 6,545 -14.81
South Wales Argus 7,525 -14.92
The Leader, Wrexham 5,698 N/A
* Comparison with ABC figures for Jan-Jun 2018.

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