Regional newspapers shed more readers

Manchester Evening News and Belfast Telegraph were the hardest hit by ongoing circulation drops endemic of the regional newspaper market. The latest results from the Audit Bureau of Circulations saw the ten biggest papers all return sales losses.

In the six months to December last year Manchester Evening News’ Monday to Saturday paid-for editions fell 13.5% year-on-year to 81,326. In addition, it also distributed 98,445 free copies Monday to Friday, which was up from 92,867 in the 2006 corresponding period.

Belfast Telegraph’s Monday to Saturday circulation was down 13.9% to 75,602 in the latest audit, which was a bigger drop than the 6.4% fall it recorded in the corresponding 2006 period.

The biggest selling regional newspapers all suffered declines Monday to Saturday, with Glasgow Evening Times down 6.2%; Leicester Mercury and Liverpool Echo each down by over 4%; Shropshire Star down 3.3%; Newcastle-Upton-Tyne Evening Chronicle, Aberdeen – Press & Journal and Dundee Courier & Advertiser all down by over 2.5% respectively.

Meanwhile, Manchester Evening News has become the first regional publisher to release an ABC report encompassing its print and online businesses. It recorded a total of 1.5 million unique users on its online network in the year to November 2007. Of its free titles, the Manchester Metro News Trafford recorded the highest average net distribution per issue, with 98,877.

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