Every regional Sunday suffers circulation fall

By Sarah Lagan

There was little cause for celebration in the paid-for regional
Sundays as every publication within the sector saw a drop in
circulation figures.

Worst hit was Birmingham’s Sunday Mercury, down 12.7 per cent
year-onyear to 75,049. The paper was also one of the worst performing
in last year’s figures –marginally behind Sunday Life, which saw sales
drop 9.8 per cent to 83,766.

A spokesman for Birmingham Post
& Mail, publisher of theMercury, said: “The Sunday market continues
to be extremely competitive, with heavy promotional activity. The poor
performance of local football teams and ever-changing fixtures from
Saturday to Sunday, or even Monday, has also had a significant impact
on sales.”

The Sunday Sun , Newcastle, also fared badly with a
drop of 7.3 per cent year-on-year, though it was three per cent up on
its January to June posting.

One of the main contributing factors
according to editor of the Sunday Sun , Peter Montellier, has been some
Premiership fixtures moving from Saturdays – but another significant
set-back he said was the changing role of Sunday.

“The whole
nature of Sundays has changed radically over the last ten years. Most
pubs are open until midnight now and the shops are open all day.
Sundays are another entertainment day and people aren’t buying papers
as much.

“Regional Sunday papers compete with the nationals,
which are giving away more free CDs on their cover. On top of this
there is voracious and aggressive new competition from the weekly
magazine market with Nuts, Zoo and Grazia .

“The main driver, though, is the migration of Premiership football from Saturdays,” he said.

The Sunday Post in Scotland saw its circulation decline to 497,800 following a 6.1 per cent fall year-on-year.

Least affected was The Sentinel Sunday, with a marginal drop of 0.2 per cent from 13,160 to 13,140 year-onyear.

It has managed to slow the decline from last year when it slipped six per cent.

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