By Jon Slattery
Popular daily newspapers made something of a comeback in the second half of 2002, according to the latest national ABC figures.
The Daily Star and The Sun defied the pundits, who have long predicted that the growth of the middle class and dumbing down of the quality dailies would squeeze out the redtops.
Circulation figures show the Daily Star was up 16.6 per cent on the same six-month period in 2001 and The Sun by more than 4 per cent. Both papers were helped by price cuts.
The daily popular market as a whole showed an increase of 1.7 per cent year-on-year, although the Daily Mirror was down 3.8 per cent and the Daily Record fell by 9.9 per cent over the same period.
In contrast, all the national morning quality titles were down year-on-year. The Financial Times was down more than 5 per cent, The Times by 4.9 per cent and The Daily Telegraph in December fell below 950,000. The daily quality market as a whole was down 4.2 per cent on the same period in 2001.
The popular Sundays were unable to show the same growth as the popular dailies. The sector was down 4.6 per cent on the previous year.
The quality Sundays were all down year-on-year, apart from The Business, which was up 53.6 per cent.
In the mid-market, the Express titles are staging a revival. The Daily Express was up by 3.9 per cent year-on-year and the Sunday Express was up 13.4 per cent.
lThe Star, Republic of Ireland, has resigned from ABC. From the December 2002 audit period, it is reporting as an edition of the Daily Star.