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UK Sunday papers take a hit in December

UK Sunday papers take a hit in December

The UK Audit Bureau of Circulation's numbers are out for December, and the news isn't good for Sunday papers.

Across the board, Sunday newspaper experienced a decline in circulation, the worst hit being the Scotland on Sunday, with a 7.05 % drop. The least affected was The Observer, which saw a 0.03% decline in circulation.

The ABC numbers are all the more striking because they lead The Guardian to conclude that nearly half of the now-defunct News of the World's buyers have given up purchasing Sunday tabloids altogether.

According to Guardian journalist Mark Sweney, when the News of the World was closed in July, 30% of its circulation was not absorbed by the paper's rivals, suggesting that its former customers were simply not buying Sunday tabloids any more.

Now that figure has risen to the equivalent of 50% of the News of the World's former readers, as the sales that other Sunday tabloids picked up when their rival closed have decreased. Altogether, says Sweney, the circulation of Sunday tabloids has declined by 1,344,433.

The boost in sales that the News of the World's five major competitors experienced when the paper was shut down has declined by 30%.

But while their gains are slipping, there's no doubt that UK Sunday popular papers have profited from the closure of the News Corp-owned tabloid. The Daily Star Sunday received a staggering 90.11% year on year boost. The People was up 60.33% and The Sunday Mirror gained 62.50% in year on year circulation.

Curiously though, the Mail on Sunday, now the largest Sunday tabloid, experienced a 2.19% drop in year on year circulation.

ABC figures alone can't tell exactly where Sunday tabloid readers are going. But they do suggest that, in British newsagents this December, Sunday was all too restful.

For the full December ABC figures, see Press Gazette.

Sources: Press Gazette, The Guardian,


Hannah Vinter


2012-01-13 17:51

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