Regional daily ABCs: North and Midlands titles hit hardest as print sales in overall decline

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Titles in the north and midlands, including the Birmingham Mail and Liverpool Echo, have seen the steepest drop in sales across paid-for daily regional newspapers, the latest ABC figures show.

The figures, for the six months to the end of June, painted a predictable picture of overall decline in the daily regional press.

Only the cuts-hit Leicester Mercury, owned by Trinity Mirror, recorded growth of any kind. It was up 2 per cent on the previous six months with sales of 29,317 copies and also suffered the shortest fall in year-on-year sales at 4 per cent.

The biggest drop came at the Wigan Evening Post, with average daily sales at 2,822 copies, down 30 per cent year-on-year and 24 per cent on the previous six months.

In January the Post was declared “sub-core” by Johnston Press, meaning it delivered “very low levels of contribution” as a brand in terms of revenue at the publisher.

The Liverpool Echo’s decline in the first half of this year continues from the last six months of 2015, when it dropped 12.3 per cent year-on-year to an average of 52,389 sales per day.

In the six months to the end of June, it has fallen a further 9 per cent to 47,862 average daily sales – a fall of 20 per cent year-on-year.

The decline follows a major redesign last year that saw the paper change its ethos to have less emphasis on crime and more on positive news.

Other titles hit hard by a drop in sales were the Birmingham Mail, which saw sales fall to 21,086 copies – down 24 per cent year-on-year and 13 per cent on the previous six months.

The Coventry Telegraph, South Shields Gazette, Hartlepool Mail and Doncaster Star all saw sales fall by more than 20 per cent year-on-year.

Best-selling regional daily the Express and Star (West Midlands) was down 12 per cent year-on-year to 59,267 copies.

The Manchester Evening News was down 14 per cent year-on-year, but held steady at about 51,800 average daily sales compared with the previous six months.

Sales of the Yorkshire Evening Post were down 9 per cent on the previous six months to 18,093 copies.

In the south the Bournemouth Daily Echo and Southern Daily Echo in Southampton were down 15 per cent and 13 per cent year-on-year respectively.

Circulation figures for regional daily paid-for newspapers over the six months to the end of June (source: ABC):

Title Owner Total % change from last six months % change year-on-year Circ %
Express & Star (West Midlands) The Midland News Association 59,267 -4.9 -11.9 83.6
Press & Journal (Aberdeen) D C Thomson & Co Ltd 54,270 -3.8 -7.2 99.3
Manchester Evening News Trinity Mirror plc 51,794 -0.1 -14.1 56.6
Liverpool Echo Trinity Mirror plc 47,862 -8.6 -19.9 98
Belfast Telegraph Independent News & Media (NI) 41,912 -2.1 -5 76.2
 The Courier (Dundee) D C Thomson & Co Ltd 41,243 -4.2 -8.5 99.5
Eastern Daily Press (Norwich) Archant Ltd 36,605 -4.9 -8.1 99.7
Irish News – Morning Irish News Co 35,921 -2.8 -4.6 99.3
The Herald (Glasgow) Newsquest Media Group 30,402 -5.4 -11.6 100
Leicester Mercury Trinity Mirror plc 29,317 2 -3.7 93.8
The Sentinel Trinity Mirror plc 28,862 -6.8 -13.7 99.3
Hull Daily Mail Trinity Mirror plc 28,686 -4.2 -9.2 99.8
Shropshire Star The Midland News Association 28,441 -5.1 -12.1 97.1
Newcastle Chronicle Trinity Mirror plc 28,258 -6.9 -14 97.4
 Evening Express (Aberdeen) D C Thomson & Co Ltd 27,441 -4.7 -11.3 99.6
 Yorkshire Post (Leeds) Johnston Press plc 26,491 1.4 -5.1 95.3
Evening Times (Glasgow) Newsquest Media Group 25,679 -7.4 -14.3 100
The Northern Echo (Darlington) Newsquest Media Group 25,290 -5.8 -9.1 100
South Wales Evening Post Trinity Mirror plc 22,572 -7.1 -13.7 100
The Gazette (Teesside) Trinity Mirror plc 22,513 -5.3 -11.7 97.3
Birmingham Mail Trinity Mirror plc 21,086 -13.1 -23.8 99.5
News & Sports Mail (Portsmouth) Johnston Press plc 20,818 -8.1 -14.2 99.7
The Scotsman Johnston Press plc 20,304 -10.7 -14.6 88.9
Evening News (Edinburgh ) Johnston Press plc 20,235 -7.2 -14.1 97.7
Derby Telegraph Trinity Mirror plc 20,090 -5.2 -8.2 95.7
 Echo (Southend – Basildon – Canvey) Newsquest Media Group 18,996 -6.6 -11 99.9
The Post Trinity Mirror plc 18,967 -8.2 -16.3 95.9
Nottingham Post Trinity Mirror plc 18,610 -6.1 -9.6 90.8
Plymouth – The Herald Trinity Mirror plc 18,191 -4.1 -9.7 100
Yorkshire Evening Post (Leeds) Johnston Press plc 18,093 -9.3 -10 88.6
Southern Daily Echo (Southampton) Newsquest Media Group 17,521 -6.7 -13.3 100
Sheffield Star Johnston Press plc 17,159 -8.6 -15.5 100
Ipswich – East Anglian Daily Times Archant Ltd 17,028 -4.8 -9.4 100
Coventry Telegraph Trinity Mirror plc 16,475 -9 -22.7 99.2
News Letter Johnston Press plc 16,396 -1.3 -6.4 99.3
Dundee Evening Telegraph D C Thomson & Co Ltd 16,354 -3 -9.5 99.7
Cardiff – South Wales Echo Trinity Mirror plc 16,241 -7.9 -15.2 98.9
The Press (York) Newsquest Media Group 15,428 -7.2 -11 100
Telegraph & Argus (Bradford) Newsquest Media Group 14,813 -6.9 -11.5 100
Sunderland Echo Johnston Press plc 14,038 -7.9 -16.9 100
 The Daily Echo (Bournemouth) Newsquest Media Group 13,987 -9 -14.7 100
Jersey Evening Post The Midland News Association 13,791 -5 -8.1 95.4
Guernsey Press & Star The Midland News Association 12,580 -2.1 -4.7 88.9
Lancashire Telegraph – Blackburn Newsquest Media Group 11,807 -6.3 -11.3 86.1
Lancashire Evening Post Johnston Press plc 11,632 -6.1 -11.4 100
The Argus Brighton Newsquest Media Group 11,424 -6.1 -10.3 96.2
South Wales Argus Newsquest Media Group 11,344 -1.1 -6.3 100
Ipswich Star Archant Ltd 11,108 -3.3 -8.8 64.8
Dorset Echo Newsquest Media Group 10,944 -3.1 -9.8 100
Oxford Mail Newsquest Media Group 10,777 -3.5 -8.4 100
The Gazette – Blackpool Johnston Press plc 10,332 -10 -15.4 100
The Bolton News Newsquest Media Group 10,172 -4.3 -8.8 100
Swindon Advertiser Newsquest Media Group 10,056 -3.7 -9 100
Colchester – Daily Gazette Newsquest Media Group 9,866 -6.4 -10.8 99.9
Evening News (Norwich) Archant Ltd 9,680 -5 -8.1 100
Barrow – North West Evening Mail CN Group 8,458 -4.7 -11.1 98.2
Oldham Evening Chronicle Hirst Kidd & Rennie Ltd 7,434 -6.7 -14.2 100
Worcester News Newsquest Media Group 7,422 -4.2 -8.5 100
News and Star East (Carlisle) CN Group 7,306 -4.9 -9.2 97.8
Shields Gazette (South Shields) Johnston Press plc 6,152 -14.4 -24.8 100
Hartlepool Mail Johnston Press plc 5,735 -12.7 -22.9 100
Paisley Daily Express Trinity Mirror plc 4,986 -2.4 -7.4 100
Wigan Evening Post Johnston Press plc 2,822 -23.8 -30.1 100
Carlisle – News and Star West CN Group 2,789 -4.1 -14 96.8
Doncaster Star Johnston Press plc 604 -12 -21.3 100

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