Regional ABCs: Weeklies suffer with London worst hit

Britain's weekly newspaper paper market continues its decline but there are some glimmers of hope hidden in today's regional ABC circulation figures for the second half of last year.

Newquest's St Alban's Observer series took one of the biggest circulation hits with a 18.5 per cent drop from 3,481 to 2,383 while Trinity Mirror-owned West Midlands title, the Bedworth Echo, suffered a 23.6 per cent dive year-on-year, from 3.104 to 2,370.

London-based papers fared particularly badly, with the London Newspaper Group, which publishes the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle and the Kensington and Chelsea News, suffering a circulation drop of 16.8 per cent, from 3,714 to 3,089.

Newquest's Richmond and Twickenham Times series saw a year-on-year fall of 18.6 per cent. The Newham Recorder, the Surrey Comet, Waltham Forest Guardian, Ealing and Acton Gazette, the Ilford, Barking and Dagenham Recorder and the East London Advertiser all saw their year-on-year circulation drop by more than 10 per cent.

However, the picture is not as grim across the whole sector. Newsquest-owned The Packet, based in Falmouth, saw its circulation rise year on year by 13.8 per cent and the Exmouth Journal saw a 9.7 per cent increase. The only London weekly to put on sales was Archant's Hackney Gazette with a 2.3 per cent rise.

In Scotland, the Ayr Advertiser series saw its figures rise from 5,498 to 6,515, up 18.5 per cent, while the Irvine Times scored an increase of 18.3 per cent.

In Northern Ireland, the biggest increase among weeklies was the independent Derry News, which rose 20.3 per cent.

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