Ayr Advertiser and the Galloway Gazette among the big fallers in sales audit

WITH the exception of four titles, Scotland’s weekly, local, paid-for newspapers have all suffered a year-on-year sales dip, according to the body responsible for auditing newspaper circulations.

Says the Audit Bureau of Circulation – and as reported yesterday on allmediascotland – only the Wee County News and the Hawick News & Scottish Border Chronicle are able to claim their average sale between July and December last year was up on both the average leading up to June last year and the average leading up to the previous December.

As for year-on-year sales increases alone, they are joined by The Arran Banner and the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter, neither of which had a figure leading up to June last year but at least are able to report an increase on the previous December, The Arran Banner’s 3,209 representing a 1.2 per cent year-on-year increase and the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter’s 3715 representing a 3.9 per cent year-on-year increase.

Among the biggest fallers, year-on-year, were the Ayr Advertiser, whose average July-December 2010 sale of 3,491 was 14 per cent down, year-on-year.

The Audit Bureau of Circulation issues figures for Scotland’s weekly, paid-for local newspapers every six months.

And there appears too to be cause for some soul searching too at the East Lothian News (3,691) and the Galloway Gazette (4,891), where the sales are down 9.4 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively.

Also revealed to be suffering is the Perthshire Advertiser. Its Tuesday edition (6,851) is down 10.2 per cent and Friday edition (13,302) down 7.1 per cent. The smallest of the three Perthshire newspapers in the Scottish and Universal Newspapers’ stable, the Strathearn Herald (2,219), has suffered a 13.8 per cent drop in sales.

Down the M9, at the Stirling Observer, its Wednesday edition (8,439) is down 9.6 per cent and its Friday edition (3,471) is down 10.4 per cent.

Other fellow S&UN titles which are been hit are the Dumfries and Galloway Standard whose Friday edition (14,202) is down 5.5 per cent and Wednesday edition (8,514) down 7.5 per cent.

Big weeklies holding their own – but only just – are the Johnston Press flagship Falkirk Herald (24,062), which is down just 1.1 per cent and S&UN’s Ayrshire Post (23,493), down 2.1 per cent. S&UN’s Hamilton Advertiser series (19,463) is down 4.5 per cent. The Oban Times (15,512) is down 4.5 per cent and the Southern Reporter (15,617) a similar 4.8 per cent.

Says Emma Quigley, acting editor of the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter, told allmediascotland she is “delighted” with the results of a sustained editorial campaign in co-operation with the Clyde Weekly Press circulation and marketing team. Her target now is to make the 3.9 per cent increase even greater and to take sales of her paper over the 4,000 mark.

More ABC figures involving Scotland’s local, weekly, paid-for newspapers, to follow…