Region’s daily newspapers suffer circulation drop

ALL the West Midlands’ daily newspapers have seen their circulations drop in the first half of the year.

Six-monthly figures from monitoring body the Audit Bureau of Circulations showed that the Coventry Telegraph was the worst hit, with circulation dropping by 9.3% compared with the first half of 2009.

The Birmingham Mail, which switched from same day to overnight printing at the start of 2010, saw its daily circulation fall 9.1pc year-on-year to just over 51,000.

However, it appears the decline in sales at the daily appears to be slowing as the same report last year showed its circulation was down by 14% compared with the first half of 2008, a swing of 5%.

Parent company BPM Media, a division of Trinity Mirror which also owns the Coventry Telegraph and weeklies the Birmingham Post and Sunday Mercury, has put the improvement down to a higher story count, increased sale time and more outlets stocking the paper.

Mail editor David Brookes said: “In addition to publishing overnight, we improved editorial quality and story count in the Birmingham Mail and introduced new platforms, such as our popular weekly Crime Files supplement.

“Our initial target was to bring the decline into single figures, which we have achieved. Now our aim is to continue those improvements throughout the rest of the year.”

Birmingham Post LiteBPM Media managing director John Griffith added: “Our decision to publish overnight has certainly improved our long term sales trend on the Birmingham Mail for the better and it has allowed the editorial team to use the additional deadline time to refine and improve each day’s Mail.”

Elsewhere in the region, the Burton Mail is down 4.5% to 12,624, the Worcester News fell by 5.2% to just over 15,000 daily sales and the Express and Star dropped by the same figure to 122,161.

Sales of Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel dropped by 6% to 53,228 and the Shropshire Star, sister paper to the Express and Star, fell by 8.4% to 60,887.

Online, the Birmingham Mail, which launched a new hyperlocal initiative earlier this month , grew unique users of its website 29% year-on-year to 460,000.

The Express and Star’s unique users went up 7.4% to 475,000 and The Sentinel’s online platform can boast a 14% rise to nearly 335,000 monthly unique users.

  • Circulation of the weekly Birmingham Post is 13,221 but comparative figures are not available as it ceased being a daily in November 2009. In April this year, it started publishing a sister weekly freesheet called Birmingham Post Lite while local entrepreneur Chris Bullivant launched The Birmingham Press. Circulation figures for these titles for the second half of 2010 will be available in February.

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