ABC: Telegraph drops below 700,000

Circulation of Daily Telegraph dropped below 700,000 for the first time in January as nearly all quality daily nationals recorded double digit year-on-year falls.

Telegraph Media Group's Daily Telegraph newspaper recorded an average daily circulation of 691,128, a drop of 11.76 per cent compared to the same period the previous year figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations reveal.

The Telegraph's January figure also represented a 1.72 per cent decline on the average circulation of 703,249 it posted in December to take it below the 700,000 mark.

According to the ABC it is the first time since its record began in 1962 that the Telegraph's circulation has dropped below 700,000.

The declining circulation of the Financial Times caused it to fall to an average circulation of 390,315 last month; this constituted a year-on-year decline of 8.52 per cent and a fall of 2.62 per cent on the 400,827 circulation it averaged in December.

The last time the FT circulation was below 400,000 was during the August 2009 reporting period, when their ABC headline figure was 395,845.

Despite a year-on-year fall of 15.76 per cent circulation of The Guardian managed to avoid dropping below 300,000 by adding sales of almost 2,000 each day to record a month-on-month circulation rise of 0.58 per cent to take it to a daily average of 302,285 in January.

The biggest year-on-year decline was recorded by The Times. It dropped 17.69 per cent to an average circulation of 508,250 last month. In January, 2009, The Times' circulation averaged 617,483.

Independent News & Media's The Independent had an average circulation of 185,815 last month. This constituted a year-on-year fall of 13.78 per cent.

The big declines in circulation can be attributed in some cases to publishers reducing the volume of bulks - copies sold for a nominal fee typically for free distributed to clients of airlines and hotels.

In January, 2009, The Times distributed 55,604 bulk copies. By December, that had fallen to 13,327 bulks.

Last month The Times didn't distribute any bulks but its circulation dropped by 13,285, almost an identical figure to the bulks sold the previous month.

The Telegraph also dropped the sale of bulks last month. In December, it distributed 21,205 bulk copies. Its average circulation dropped 12,121 from December to January.

Last January, the Telegraph's bulks figure stood at 109,318.

The Financial Times sold 31,370 bulks last month, a decline of just over 1,000 on the previous month.

The Independent's bulk sales were 47,233 last month, roughly the same figure as in January, 2008.

The Guardian and The Observer dropped bulk sales last summer.

In the Sunday market, The Observer was the biggest year-on-year faller as its circulation dropped by 17.13 per cent to a weekly average of 354,565.

Circulation of The Independent on Sunday fell by 13.88 per cent year-on-year to a weekly average of 153,975 last month.

The Sunday Telegraph's average weekly circulation dropped 12.38 per cent year-on-year to 527,742 in January.

The smallest year-on-year decline in the Sunday market belonged to the biggest seller. The Sunday Times' average weekly circulation dropped by 4.51 per cent to 1,144,929 last month.

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