All regional newspapers suffered a year-on-year decrease in circulation between June 2017 and June 2018, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures.

Newquest’s Brighton Argus saw the smallest change, declining by 1.52%, with the Swindon Advertiser and the Irish News close behind with a near identical 6.83% and 6.84% drop in circulation. 

Meanwhile, 37 of the 58 regional titles analysed suffered an average decrease of 13.77%, with Archant’s Ipswich Star seeing the biggest drop at 36.92%, followed by Reach’s Cambridge News at 33.36%.

According to sources at Archant and Reach, the results are due to a shift in publishing strategies, which saw the reduction of free distribution and an increase in the circulation share of paid copies.

Craig Willetts, regional newspaper sales director at Reach, told RN: “We stopped moving a lot of free and bulk copies since last year as part of a cost-saving measure, and our paid-for ratio went from 76% in 2017 to 96% paid-for this year. A big part of that circulation number came from bulk sales, so the actual drop is much lower.”

Darron McLoughlin, circulation director at Archant, added: “When analysing the Paid Single Copy element of the sales year on year it shows that the Ipswich Star has closed the gap compared to previous periods at -10.1%.”


Jan-Jun 2018Jan-Jun 2017Yearly Change
Aberdeen – Press and Journal45, 93549,475-7.16%
Belfast Telegraph35,93139,314-8.61%
Birmingham Mail15,36718,029-14.77%
Bournemouth – The Daily Echo11,52112,795-9.96%
Bradford – Telegraph & Argus11,20413,264-15.53%
Cambridge News8,00512,012-33.36%
Cardiff – South Wales Echo12,64914,361-11.92%
Carlisle – News and Star East4,7236,126-22.90%
Carlisle – News and Star West1,7532,256-22.30%
Coventry Telegraph11,43814,072-18.72%
Darlington – The Northern Echo20,23222,622-10.16%
Derby Telegraph16,78518,891-11.5%
Dundee – The Courier34,26037,142-7.76%
Express & Star (West Midlands)42,20851,722-18.39%
Glasgow – Evening times19,13022,397-14.59%
Hull Daily Mail21,81325,43714.25%
Ipswich – East Anglian Daily times13,26314,857-10.73%
Ipswich Star6,0019,513-36.92%
Irish News – Morning33,6479,513-6.83%
Lancashire Telegraph – Blackburn8,14910, 532-22.63%
Leeds – Yorkshire Post20,82023,055-9.69%
Leicester Mercury21,13025,535-17.25%
Liverpool Echo35,03841,773-16.12%
Newcastle Chronicle 20,75625,056-17.16%
Norwich – Eastern Daily Press26,78831,514-15.00%
Nottingham Post14,81417,265-14.20%
Oxford Mail9,0389,922-8.91%
Paisley Daily Express4,3784,720-7.25%
Plymoth – The Herald13,83315,755-12.20%
Portsmouth – News & Sports Mail14,76717,940-17.69%
Shropshire Star21,73624,942-12.85%
Southend – Basildon – Caney – Echo15,97817,932-10.90%
Swindon Advertiser8,4819,104-6.84%
Teesside Gazette16,20419,699-17.74%
The Argus Brighton10,21210,370-1.52%
The Mail5,2877,026-24.75%
The Post13,10217,148-23.59%
The Scotsman17,01321,214-19.80%
The Sentinel22,04725,181-12.45%
York – The Press11,92214,07515.30%