Regional newspapers hit by sales decline

Out of some 85 regional daily newspapers in Britain – just one is selling more now than a year ago.

The regional newspaper ABC figures – released at midday – reveal that only the Irish News in Belfast is up year-on-year looking at sales over the first half of this year. It was 1.6 per cent up to 49,046.

Elsewhere average sales declines are running at about five per cent.

Among the more shocking drops – the Birmingham Mail is the paper which stands out, down 17.5 per cent year-on-year to 75,787.

In October it spent a claimed £1 million on relaunching under new editor Steve Dyson – with more regional editions and community news among the changes. So far he has have failed to bring about the sales growth he achieved at his last job on the Teesside Gazette.

Another grim figure is at up-market morning The Liverpool Daily Post, which dropped 10.4 per cent to 17,858, after previously being one of the top performers in the regional press.

The Manchester Evening News fell 16.5 per cent year-on-year to 114,676 – a drop which is probably largely explained by the fact that in April it began giving away 50,000 copies in the City centre.

There is sales growth to be found in the UK’s 480-odd paid-for weeklies – but even in this, previously growing sector, sales are predominately downward.

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