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National newspapers are, without a doubt, going through a tumultuous period. And unlike the consumer magazine circulation figures released on 11 February, which showed publishers are fighting back with price cuts and multipacks, the release of the monthly national newspaper ABC figures the following day made grim reading.
Just one title – the Daily Star – increased its year-on-year sales in January by a meagre 1.6%, and the daily and Sunday markets were down 6.3% and 5.5% respectively.
However, there is a surge of activity already taking place or about to, in a bid to beat falling sales.
Among the activity is the Daily Mail, which has ploughed £10m into a national ad campaign, to promote the title, particularly to 35- to 45-year-old women.
This Sunday The Observer is re-launching with fewer sections overall, but expanded sport, review and main sections. The title will also be supported by a two-week TV advertising campaign.
Meanwhile, The Times is expected to receive an overhaul following last year’s redesign of its Sunday equivalent. Among the changes is a plan to scrap its features supplement Times2 at some point in March.
Whether any of this can claw back newsstand sales for these titles remains to be seen, but it’s a start.
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