Strength of current affairs sees sales rise

By Dominic Ponsford

The UK’s main news and current affairs magazines have all put on
sales in the six months to June – a period which has included a general
election, royal wedding and the aftermath of the Asian tsunami.

Private Eye continues to quietly prove that it is words on the page
and stories that sell. It may have the production values of a college
newspaper but its blend of humour, satire and investigative journalism
continues to sell shed-loads of copies with circulation growing 1.9 per
cent year-on-year up to 209,981.

The Spectator’s sales performance provides evidence of the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Its sales have risen to a new high in its 178-year history, up 5.4 per cent to 67,120.

Last
year’s extramarital affairs involving various senior members of staff,
most notably publisher Kimberly Quinn with then home secretary David
Blunkett, have continued to make headlines thanks to the success of
Toby Young’s play Who’s the Daddy.

Its run at the King’s Head theatre in Islington has broken box office records and looks likely to transfer to the West End.

Another
venerable magazine in rude health is The Economist which has become an
international publishing phenomenon with global weekly sales of more
than a million.

The UK edition was up 5.4 per cent to 155,371.

Dennis
Publishing’s The Week has the sort of sales graph that most circulation
managers would dream of. Since 1998 its circulation has shown strong
and steady growth every six months from 35,000 to the current total of
105,996, which was up 14.3 per cent year-on-year.

The New
Statesman was too late returning its data to ABC to be included in the
six-monthly figures but is expected to release its figures in the next
two weeks. In the last six months of 2004 its average sale was 23,646.

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