Rugby scores highly for WoS

By Sarah Lagan

Rugby success has sent Wales on Sunday’s circulation through the
roof as it posted a 7.4 per cent increase, the highest year-on-year ABC
rise in the paper’s history.

Six months ago sales were down 4.2 per cent. But Wales’ triumph in
the Six Nations has secured a turnaround in the title’s fortunes,
boosting average sales for the six months to June up to 53,374.

Editor
Tim Gordon said: “The paper is positioned at the heart of Welsh life
and Welsh sport and people turn to us to share in the nation’s success.
Wales winning the tournament enabled us to get the paper into the hands
of readers who might not have seen us for a while.

The gratifying thing is, we were able to hold on to a lot of those readers.”

Sales
of Sunday newspapers overall were much higher than in the last period
when every paper suffered sales losses. This period saw five increases
out of eight papers. The Sentinel Sunday continues its steady rise in
sales, which are up 3.5 per cent, following its launch five years ago.
Last year, the paper totally revamped its sports coverage, which now
fills 13 broadsheet pages.

Editor Sean Dooley said: “We are
picking up a lot of solus readers from the national Sunday papers and
we have resisted the temptation to stick on loads of supplements. Our
research has found that a combination of sports driving sales and
people chasing time to read at the weekend has helped with the Sunday
sales.”

Dublin’s Sunday World is up an impressive 7.5 per cent on
its Northern Ireland edition, which was down five per cent last year,
and 0.3 per cent on its Republic of Ireland edition.

But it isn’t
all good news. The Sunday Tribune in the Republic of Ireland has
responded to an 18.2 per cent drop in circulation by scrapping free CDs.

New
editor Noirin Hegarty said: “We are concentrating on our core
product,which is good journalism, breaking news and more attitude.”

The Sunday Mercury in Birmingham saw a 12.8 per cent drop this time compared with a 12.7 per cent drop six months ago.

A
spokesman said: “Given the importance of sport, and particularly
football, the title has continued to be impacted by the increasing
trend for key local football fixtures to take place on Sundays or
Mondays rather than in the traditional Saturday afternoon slot.”

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