January ABCs: Daily Star is lone riser after price cut

The Daily Star was the only national newspaper to record a year-on-year circulation increase in January, three months after slashing its cover price.

The red-top, which undercut The Sun last November with a price cut from 35p to 20p, saw a 6.3 per cent increase in circulation last month compared with January 2008 according to ABC at 768,534 – up more than 45,000 copies on the previous year.

After the quiet month of December, there were month-on-month circulation gains for all the national dailies except the Financial Times and the Daily Sport.

But the broader year-on-year picture is one of circulation declines across the board. The Daily Sport took the biggest hit, down 28.6 per cent year on year to its lowest-ever circulation of 72,592.

The Daily Mirror fell 9.63 per cent year on year, with an average January circulation of 1,366,891 – down from 1.51 million in early 2008.

The title did, however, overtake the free distribution of Associated Newspapers' morning freesheet, Metro, which had overtaken the Trinity Mirror red-top's paid-for circulation in the previous month.

The Sun, which fell below the three-million circulation mark in December, reported a January circulation figure of 3,146,006, up 8.5 per cent month on month but still down two per cent on the same period last year.

In the middle market, the 40p Daily Express fell 2.17 per cent year on year to 736,340. The rival Daily Mail, which costs 50p, was down 3.67 per cent in the same period to 2,228,897.

The Independent, which announced a deal with Associated Newspapers to share premises late last year, was the biggest faller among the quality dailies, down 14 per cent year on year to 215,504.

Top-selling quality title the Daily Telegraph fell 5.3 per cent year on year, with an average daily circulation of 942,912 last month. The Times was down 2.56 per cent at 617,483.

The Financial Times fell 3.17 per cent year on year. Its average daily circulation last month was 432,944.

And in its first full month in a new integrated multimedia newsroom, The Guardian reported a January circulation of 358,844, a year-on-year decline of 5.17 per cent.

ABC national daily newspaper circulation for January 2009
All percentage figures are on a year-on-year basis

Daily Mirror - 1,366,891 (down 9.63%)
Daily Star – 768,534 (up 6.30%)
Daily Sport – 72,592 (down 28.59%)
The Sun – 3,146,006 (down 1.99%)

Racing Post - 57,314 (down 10.5 per cent)

Daily Express – 736,340 (down 2.17%)
Daily Mail – 2,228,897 (down 3.67%)

Daily Telegraph – 842,912 (down 5.30%)
Financial Times – 432,944 (down 3.17%)
The Guardian – 358,844 (down 5.17%)
The Independent – 215,504 (down 14.02%)
The Times – 617,483 (down 2.56%)

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