Circulation Cheer for Handful of Scots Local Newspapers

A handful of Scots local and regional newspapers – some of them free – have bucked the trend of falling circulation among Scots newspaper titles, according to latest figures.

Sales the Audit Bureau of Circulation, among the paid-for titles, the East Lothian Courier, the Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter, The Orcadian and the Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser were the paid-for titles to enjoy a year-on-year increase in their circulation – between the end of December 2010 and end of December last year.

The free titles to also enjoy a year-on-year increase in their circulation were the Dumfries Courier, the Fife Leader, the Northern Scot Mid Week Extra, the Paisley People and the Stiring News incorporating the Alloa and Hillfoots Weekender.

Earlier today, reported the circulation figures for Scots daily and evening 'regional' titles, including the Press and Journal, the Evening Times and Dundee's Courier newspaper.

The East Lothian Courier's average circulation of 12,526 represented an increase of 1.6 per cent while The Orcadian's 9,488 represents an increase of 2.3 per cent. The Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter's 3,745 represents an increase of 0.8 per cent.

And the 7,938 for Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser was an impressive 8.8 per cent.

Kevin McRoberts, editor of the Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser, told “The increase in circulation is encouraging and is to be welcomed in what are tough times for the industry. The increase has been, in part, assisted by the two-month absence of our previous rival, the Wee County News. However, we have continued to see improved circulation since its relaunch in October.

“In the past year, we've doubled the number of pages in the Alloa Advertiser to provide our readers with greater coverage of local news and sport. The dedicated and hard working editorial team are continuing to explore opportunities to develop and improve our product as we look to maintain and continue to grow our circulation in the coming months.”

Added Robbie Scott, editor of the East Lothian Courier, which, like the Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser, is published by Forth Weekly Press: “We're fortunate to live and work in one of Scotland's most attractive areas so it's pleasing if our efforts to provide a newspaper worthy of such a fantastic county are paying off.

“Residents here and elsewhere have great affection for their local papers and want the local press to succeed and flourish.

“It can often be hard to meet their expectations but we as an industry must move heaven and earth to continue to play a lead role in our communities and, whether online or in print, bring them the unique content they demand and deserve.”

Martin Little, editorial manager of Forth Weekly Press, added: “The recent figures for both the East Lothian Courier and Alloa Advertiser are encouraging. The teams in both Haddington and Alloa have worked exceptionally hard over the past six months – and have shown what can be achieved despite the current financial climate.

“We still see potential for growth in our publications and are investing in our talented news teams in order to realise this.”

And The Orcadian's editor, Sigurd Towrie, also told “Needless to say, we at The Orcadian are delighted to be bucking the trend and seeing another increase in our circulation figures. As all in the industry know well, newspapers are going through a rough patch, with competition from the internet and falling advertising revenues. But, fortunately, we have both an extremely loyal readership and customer bases and it's heartening to see that our efforts are paying off.

“I think now, more than ever, the role of a local newspaper is to cover all aspects of the community it serves – from breaking hard news to local events and sport. Allowing us to do that, I'm fortunate to have a small, but extremely dedicated team in the newsroom, who work above and beyond the call of duty each week. Their efforts are complemented by a network of regular correspondents and contacts across the county, without whom we would not be able to provide the service we do.”

The local/regional titles figures are issues by the ABC twice a year.

The full Scots list reads (average circulation and year-on-year rise or fall):

Aberdeen Citizen (free): 52,893, -21.2 per cent

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser: 12,858, -8.1 per cent

Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser: 7,938, 8.8 per cent

Annandale Herald: 2,801, -2.5 per cent

Annandale Observer: 5,877, -1.3 per cent

The Arbroath Herald (inc Broughty Ferry, Carnoustie, Monifieth Guide & Gazette): 8,573, -5.5 per cent 

Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald: 11,040, -6.0 per cent

Arran Banner: 3,093, -3.6 per cent

Ayr Advertiser: 3,409, -2.3 per cent

Ayrshire Post: 21,427, -8.8 per cent

Banffshire Journal: 4,643, -1.2 per cent

Berwickshire News & East Lothian Herald: 4,790, -8.6 per cent

Blairgowrie Advertiser: 2,171, -3.0 per cent

Border Telegraph: 3,502, -5.1 per cent

Brechin Advertiser: 2,513, -7.7 per cent

The Buchan Observer: 5,821, -8.1 per cent

The Buteman: 2,761, -3.2 per cent

Caithness Courier: 5,964, -4.6 per cent

Campbeltown Courier & Argyllshire Advertiser: 6,473, -3.2 per cent

Carrick Gazette: 2,102, -10.6 per cent

Central Fife Times & Advertiser: 5,340, -6.3 per cent

Clydebank Post: 9,932, -0.7 per cent

Courier & Advertiser (Dundee): 59,754, -5.2 per cent

Cumbernauld News & Kilsyth Chronicle: 7,791, -13.6 per cent

Cumnock Chronicle: 6,213, -3.3 per cent

Deeside Piper: 5,169, -5.3 per cent

Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter: 3,745, 0.8 per cent

Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Fri): 13,042, -8.2 per cent

Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Wed): 7,639, -10.3 per cent

Dumfries Courier (free): 22,341, 0.1 per cent

Dunfermline Press & West of Fife Advertiser: 15,572, -2.9 per cent

East Fife Mail: 9,279, -8.2 per cent

East Kilbride News: 9,053, -8.4 per cent

East Lothian Courier: 12,526, 1.6 per cent

East Lothian News: 3,487, -5.5 per cent

Edinburgh Evening News: 37,250, -11.2 per cent

The Ellon Times and Inverurie Herald: 2,928, -8.6 per cent

Evening Times (Glasgow): 49,096, -9.5 per cent

Evening Express (Aberdeen): 44,038, -10.6 per cent

Evening Telegraph (Dundee): 22,904, -1.8 per cent

The Extra, Glasgow South & Eastwood (free): 29,988, -0.3 per cent

Falkirk & Grangemouth Advertiser (free): 34,352, -24.7 per cent

Falkirk Herald: 22,471, -6.6 per cent

Fife & Kinross Extra (free): 26,101, -3.2 per cent

Fife Free Press: 13,955, -0.4 per cent

Fife Herald News & St Andrews Citizen: 10,986, -8.4 per cent

Fife Leader (free): 43,515, 1.6 per cent

Forfar Dispatch: 4,350, -7.9 per cent

Forres Gazette: 3,016, -8.7 per cent

The Fraserburgh Herald: 4,462, -8.3 per cent

The Galloway Gazette: 4,473, -8.5 per cent

The Galloway News: 7,401, -5.9 per cent

Glenrothes Gazette: 4,895, -11.1 per cent

Greenock Telegraph: 13,913, -5.5 per cent

Hamilton Advertiser: 17,964, -7.7 per cent

Hawick News and Scottish Border Chronicle: 5,094, -4.2 per cent

Helensburgh Advertiser: 5,295, -2.1 per cent

Herald & Post, West Lothian (free): 31,817, -24.8 per cent

Highland News: 7,158, -7.7 per cent

Inverness Courier (Fri): 13,255, -7.9 per cent

Inverness Courier (Tue): 9,627, -8.4 per cent

The Inverness Herald (free): 15,178, -0.8 per cent 

Irvine Herald and Kilwinning Chronicle: 8,192, -7.7 per cent

Irvine Times: 2,797, -1.9 per cent

John O'Groat Journal: 7,523, -4.2 per cent

Kilmarnock Standard: 14,513, -6.9 per cent

Kirkintilloch Herald: 9,750, -0.6 per cent

Lanark & Carluke Gazette: 9,325, -9.7 per cent

Largs & Millport Weekly News: 4,835, -6.6 per cent

Lennox Herald: 9,147, -3.9 per cent

Linlithgowshire Journal & Gazette: 7,137, -7.2 per cent

Lochaber News: 2,877, -6.5 per cent

Mearns Leader and Kincardineshire Observer: 4,120, -4.9 per cent

Midlothian Advertiser: 6,065, -5.2 per cent

Milngavie & Bearsden Herald: 5,245, -5.4 per cent

Moffat News: 1,019, -5.4 per cent

Montrose Review: 4,071, -6.3 per cent

Motherwell Times & Bellshill Speaker: 11,322, -6.4 per cent

North Star: 4,240, -9.7 per cent

Northern Scot: 15,358, -7.6 per cent

Northern Scot Mid Week Extra (free): 21,224, 0.4 per cent

Northern Times: 4,393, -3.6 per cent

Oban Times: 14,768, -4.8 per cent

The Orcadian: 9,488, 2.3 per cent

Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette: 6,937, -9.0 per cent

Paisley Daily Express: 7,137, -7.6 per cent

Paisley People (free): 4,538, 14.9 per cent

Peeblesshire News: 4,563, -4.1 per cent

Perthshire Advertiser (Fri): 12,126, -8.8 per cent

Perthshire Advertiser (Tue): 6,224, -9.2 per cent

Press & Journal (Aberdeen): 67,781, -6.9 per cent

Ross-shire Journal: 8,121, -6.9 per cent

Rutherglen Reformer: 3,415, -5.4 per cent

Southern Reporter: 14,373, -8.0 per cent

Stirling News incorporating Alloa and Hillfoots Weekender (free): 17,389, 0.3 per cent

Stirling Observer (Fri): 3,236, -6.8 per cent

Stirling Observer (Wed): 7,718, -8.5 per cent

Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser: 10,288, -5.5 per cent

Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press: 7,424, -2.3 per cent

Strathearn Herald: 2,111, -4.9 per cent

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald: 4,565, -1.7 per cent

West Highland Free Press: 8,065, -2.0 per cent

West Lothian Courier: 12,375, -11.1 per cent 

Wishaw Press: 7,045, -11.1 per cent