Quality newspapers hit by double digit ABC declines

The quality national newspaper titles were again the biggest circulation losers in November with six feeling double-digit year-on-year declines.

While The Times and the Telegraph titles can at least argue that they are feeling the effects of stripping out free bulk distribution copies, the Guardian titles cannot.

Both The Guardian and Observer dropped their free bulk copies more than a year ago – The Guardian was down 11.3 per cent in November and The Observer down 15.4 per cent, making it the biggest national newspaper faller. In March this year The Observer ditched several of its magazines and stand-alone sections as part of a cost-cutting relaunch.

A decision was made to drop 15,000 foreigns sales from The Guardian and 13,000 from The Observer in February this year and that does affect the year-on-year comparisons.

The Independent titles fared comparatively well in terms of their headline circulations, but these figures are being beefed up by an increasing number of bulk give-away copies. At the Independent, 63,825 copies out of its 177,636 average daily circulation were bulks (according to ABC) and for the Independent on Sunday 53,007 out of 150,931 are bulks.

The Financial Times was the best performing national newspaper title with sales fractionally down 0.01 per cent year on year at 400,699. But it only kept above 400,000 by increasing the number of bulk copies by 7,000 to 39,460. The FT sold had an average daily UK circulation in November of 113,135.

The Daily Mail was among the real success stories in November, dropping just 2.2 per cent year on year despite a slight reduction in its bulk copies from 130,000 to 120,000.

Journalists on the People also deserve credit for putting the brakes on circulation slides which had been regularly in double figures. In November it was among the better performing Sunday redtops, down 5.8 per cent year on year.

National newspaper ABC figures for November 2010

(November average daily sale followed by percentage change year on year)

Dailies

Daily Mirror 1,177,629 -6.54

Daily Record 303,031 -6.20

Daily Star 756,686 -8.11

The Sun 2,898,113 -2.04

Daily Express 639,690 -6.64

Daily Mail 2,100,885 -2.22

The Daily Telegraph 652,762 -12.28

Financial Times 400,699 -0.09

The Herald 52,736 -7.07

The Guardian 270,582 -11.35

The Independent 177,636 -4.78

The Scotsman 42,829 -7.50

The Times 466,311 -17.21

Racing Post 53,820 -6.33

Sundays

Daily Star Sunday 331,564 -6.44

News of the World 2,753,599 -5.81

Sunday Mail 365,696 -6.75

Sunday Mirror 1,070,062 -6.81

The People 502,656 -5.83

Sunday Express 545,475 -8.25

Sunday Post 322,636 -5.19

The Mail on Sunday 1,985,333 -4.16

Independent on Sunday 150,931 -3.57

The Observer 315,316 -15.39

Scotland on Sunday 55,552 -5.19

Sunday Herald 41,464 -3.96

The Sunday Telegraph 501,430 -13.13

The Sunday Times 1,052,414 -10.16

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