JOURNALISM: Newspapers report a significant year-on-year decline in sales.

By Hamish Mackay in The Scottish Review

The three Scottish national newspapers whose circulations are published by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) – The Sunday PostDaily Record and the Sunday Mail – all report a significant year-on-year decline in sales.

In the figures published for September, The Sunday Post, which is owned by DC Thomson Media, saw its circulation tumble year-on-year by 19% to 60,229 copies. The Sunday Mail’s sales fell year-on-year by 14% to 78,479, while the Daily Record was down 12% to 80,596. Both these tabloids are owned by Reach plc and three other Reach plc titles also reported substantial circulation setbacks – the Sunday People down 19% to 103,302, the Sunday Mirror fell by 14% to 276,561 and the Daily Star Sunday was also down 14% to 123,475.

The Financial Times (FT) was the only paid-for national newspaper to grow its circulation year-on-year – by 7% to a sale of 111,898. Aside from the Metro free newspaper – up 62% to 1,055,819 (mainly thanks to commuters returning to London as COVID-19 fears lessened) and the FT, all the other national newspapers which are reported by ABC remained reasonably steady on a month-to-month basis between August and September – changing by between 0% and -2%.

The circulation figures, unfortunately, do not include The Sun and Sun on SundayThe Times and Sunday Times, and the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph – all of which have chosen to keep their ABC circulations private since the beginning of 2020. The Guardian and The Observer joined them in September 2021.

Here are the circulation figures for the titles published by ABC with the year-on-year percentage changes in brackets: Daily Mail – 920,881 copies (-9%), Mail on Sunday – 797,148 (-9%), Evening Standard (free) – 493,675 (-4%), Daily Mirror – 348,087 (-12%), Daily Express – 230,284 (-10%), Daily Star – 209,326 (-13%), Express – 202,502 (-10%) and the i morning daily – 145,411 (-6%).

Few local weekly newspapers, including the Lennox Herald which now costs £1.50, publish their sales figures which have plunged rapidly in recent years.

One comment

  1. I like a paper to read but online access is ubiquitous and instant.

    Journalism costs money. No sales, no journos. No quality. No paper on or offline of any worth.

    The FT is selling a quality product to an audience who can pay – and pay they do in both deadwood and paid subscriptions.

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