Red-tops trade blows in circulation battle

By Hamish Mackay

The Scottish Sun closed the gap to just 23,642 copies last month in its bruising circulation battle with the Daily Record.

The ABC figures for April reveal that the average net circulation of the Daily Record in Scotland was 413,737 copies — compared to The Scottish Sun's 389,503. The April gap is nearly half that of March.

However, the Daily Record's sale was only marginally down on March which suggests that0price cuts may have led to double-buying — with readers picking up Scotland's two top-selling tabloids for a bargain price of 25p. An enterprising newsagent in Stirling this week featured a billboard proclaiming: "Buy a Daily Record, get a Sun free."

And it looks as if some readers are ditching the Daily Star in Scotland for The Scottish Sun, with the Daily Star down to 85,099 copies.

News Group's Scottish Sun has been selling for 10p since the end of March after its third price cut in 14 months. The Trinity Mirror-owned Daily Record is retailing at 15p, when bought using a voucher from the previous day's edition.

Either way, The Scottish Sun is celebrating and claims it was ahead of the Daily Record on at least two days last week. On Saturday, after the release of the ABC figures, The Scottish Sun carried a page-two story trumpeting: "We delivered the goods day after day — leaving our lacklustre rivals to face the music. Just like Sir Alan Sugar on TV's The Apprentice, you said: ‘You're hired to The Scottish Sun'. And told the sorry Record to pack their bags and leave."

The Murdoch red-top said its sale had risen by nearly 5 per cent while the Daily Record's circulation "had slumped to an all-time low of 413,737".

The ABC figures coincided with a Scottish Sun scoop about a pregnant 11- year-old Scottish girl, which was picked up by media outlets across the world.

However, the Daily Record, which launched a barrage of television commercial and press advertisements late in March, is believed to be still up to 80,000 copies ahead on Saturdays when both papers share a cover price of 55p.

Other Scottish daily paper sales figures include: Scottish Daily Mail 123,979, Scottish Daily Express 82,409, Scottish Daily Mirror 42,620, Daily Star 85,099, The Herald 73,295, The Scotsman 61,939, The Times 29,367, The Daily Telegraph 23,732, The Guardian 16,328, The Independent 11,871 and The Financial Times 574.

Sunday newspaper sales include: The Sunday Times 77,177, Scotland on Sunday 70,898, Sunday Herald 56,234, The Observer 24,513, The Sunday Telegraph 22,514, The Independent on Sunday 12,706, The Mail on Sunday 132,105, Sunday Express 49,615, Sunday Mail 487,247, News of the World 308,361, The People 29,770 and Sunday Mirror 36,003.

The new daily sports newspaper, The Sportsman, sold 1,172 copies with its long-established rival, the Racing Post ahead at 4,441.

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