Sands sacked despite improving sales performance at Sunday Telegraph

Dominic Ponsford

Sunday Telegraph editor Sarah Sands was sacked this week despite signs that her title was turning the corner sales wise.

In the official ABC sales figures for February, the Sunday Telegraph was down 0.44 per cent year-on-year to 683,741, out performing its main rival – The Sunday Times – which was down 2.09 per cent to 1,371,545.

But the big success stories out of the whole national press were the Independent on Sunday, up 17.13 per cent year-on-year, to 244,287; and the Observer, up 8.96 per cent to 484,357.

The Sunday Indy is apparently still feeling the benefits of its switch to tabloid format on 16 October. But sales were probably more helped by e particularly popular a free Spanish language book promotion on 5 February which is know to have been a massive hit.

The Observer relaunched in Berliner format on 8 January and was unable to match the extraordinary 21 per cent year-on-year growth of that month.

The Evening Standard’s strategy of targeted one-off 20p price cuts appears to have helped it slam the brakes on a sales decline which had been running into double figures until recent months.

Its 3.36 per cent drop year-on-year to 334,144 is believed to be ahead of the national press in London.

Among the national dailies, The Guardian was one of the top performers – up 4.44 per cent year-on-year to 382,931. But the fact that it is still slightly below its sales figures from the pre-tabloid Times and Independent days of just over two years ago suggests its the Berliner size-change of last September has not been an unqualified success.

UK national newspapers circulation for February 2006
 
  Current month Last Month mth/mth Last Year Yr/Yr
  Feb 06 Jan 06 +/- % Feb 05 +/- %
National morning popular
Daily Mirror 1,656,655 1,727,672 -4.11 1,719,743 -3.67  
Daily Record 450,302 451,932 -0.36 480,877 -6.36  
Daily Star 791,900 820,070 -3.44 854,480 -7.32  
The Sun 3,145,433 3,319,337 -5.24 3,273,116 -3.90  
Total of average daily net
circulation
6,044,290 6,319,011 -4.35 6,328,216 -4.49  
National morning mid market
Daily Express 827,905 849,001 -2.48 948,375 -12.70  
The Daily Mail 2,439,142 2,389,011 2.10 2,426,533 0.52  
Total of average daily net
circulation
3,267,047 3,238,012 0.90 3,374,908 -3.20  
National morning quality
The Daily Telegraph 901,123 917,043 -1.74 907,329 -0.68  
Financial Times 440,837 441,840 -0.23 419,386 5.11  
The Herald 76,384 76,934 -0.71 79,230 -3.59  
The Guardian 382,931 394,913 -3.03 366,645 4.44  
The Independent 266,075 258,387 2.98 263,595 0.94  
The Scotsman 65,165 67,201 -3.03 67,832 -3.93  
The Times 669,691 685,081 -2.25 679,190 -1.40  
Total of average daily net
circulation
2,802,206 2,841,399 -1.38 2,783,207 0.68  
 
Overall total of average daily net
circulation
12,113,543 12,398,422 -2.30 12,486,331 -2.99  
National morning sporting
Racing Post 70,334 72,135 -2.50 73,227 -3.95  
London evening
Evening Standard 334,144 337,080 -0.87 345,776 -3.36  
National morning group
The Daily Mirror / Daily Record 2,106,957 2,179,604 -3.33 2,200,620 -4.26  
 
 
           
           
National Sunday popular
Daily Star Sunday 386,690 439,067 -11.93 419,262 -7.77  
News of the World 3,630,390 3,789,176 -4.19 3,649,466 -0.52  
Sunday Mail 535,970 547,405 -2.09 563,800 -4.94  
Sunday Mirror 1,451,834 1,574,054 -7.76 1,534,736 -5.40  
The People 884,410 895,275 -1.21 1,007,140 -12.19  
Sunday Sport 139,733 143,506 -2.63 151,892 -8.01  
Total of average Sunday net
circulation
7,029,027 7,388,483 -4.87 7,326,296 -4.06  
National Sunday mid market
Sunday Express 862,987 877,101 -1.61 1,007,095 -14.31  
The Mail on Sunday 2,285,387 2,404,511 -4.95 2,374,856 -3.77  
Total of average Sunday net
circulation
3,148,374 3,281,612 -4.06 3,381,951 -6.91  
National Sunday quality
Independent on Sunday 244,287 241,414 1.19 208,563 17.13  
The Observer 484,357 542,075 -10.65 444,509 8.96  
Scotland on Sunday 84,315 82,380 2.35 82,593 2.08  
Sunday Herald 60,755 63,529 -4.37 57,905 4.92  
The Sunday Telegraph 683,741 682,739 0.15 686,779 -0.44  
The Sunday Times 1,371,545 1,357,153 1.06 1,400,873 -2.09  
Total of average Sunday net
circulation
2,929,000 2,969,290 -1.36 2,881,222 1.66  
 
Overall total of average Sunday net
circulation
13,106,401 13,639,385 -3.91 13,589,469 -3.55  

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