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Belfast Telegraph says tabloid edition added 30,000 to sales

By Dominic Ponsford

The Belfast Telegraph’s first tabloid edition drew an extra 100,000 readers, according to editor Ed Curran.

He said: “The paper is a huge advance on anything we’ve published
before on a Saturday – it’s 128 pages printed on our new press with all
sorts of colour availability.”

The Saturday edition is not only
tabloid but available from 7am, so is a radical departure for the
Belfast-based evening broadsheet. An updated edition is available in
the early afternoon.

New additions include a 24-page property
guide, 16-page TV guide and an eight-page racing supplement which is
changed to a photographic look back at the week in the afternoon
edition.

Curran said Saturday sales in the first week are
estimated to have increased from 70,000 to 100,000 – which makes for
100,000 more readers, working on a ratio of 3.5 readers per copy.

Curran
said: “We have had a major advertising campaign and there was probably
a degree of curiosity in the first week – but we really were delighted
with the positive response of our readers.”

The Belfast Telegraph
is seeking to turn around a year-on-year sales drop of 8.7 per cent for
its Saturday edition in the last round of regional ABC figures (which
was partly due to a reduction in giveaway copies).

The Monday to
Friday edition of the Telegraph is one of only two broadsheet evenings
left in the UK. The other is the Halifax Courier .

The launch of
the new Saturday morning edition has come at a dynamic time for the
Northern Ireland newspaper scene. A cross-border morning paper, Daily
Ireland launched last month and the Irish News is planning to drop down
in size from mid-size Berliner format to tabloid this month.

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