Just Two the Exception to Circulation Drops Across Scots Local Newspapers

Eight local, paid for newspaper titles in Scotland have seen their circulations drop by ten or more per cent in the space of 12 months, as part of widespread falls in sales punctuated by just two newspapers: The Orcadian, which registered a year-on-year circulation increase of just 0.1 per cent, and the Fife Free Press, whose figure was 0.9 per cent.

While a number of free titles saw their year-on-year circulations increase, the picture across Scotland was consistently of falls, including the Glenrothes Gazette, the Strathearn Herald and the Fraserburgh Herald.

The figures emerged from the latest report by the Audit Bureau of Circulation, which publishes regional newspaper circulations every six months.

The Fife Free Press's year-on-year rise comprised an average 13,982 during the six months leading up to the end of June just up on the average 13,858 during the six months leading up to the end of June 12 months previously. But its June 2011 figure was also down – by 0.2 per cent – on the average 14,013 during the six months leading up to the end of December.

Meanwhile, The Orcadian's year-on-year rise comprised an average 9,305 during the six months leading up to the end of June just up on the average 9,207 during the six months leading up to the end of June 12 months previously. Its June 2011 figure was also up – by 0.3 per cent – on the average 9,274 during the six months leading up to the end of December.

(Please note: In an earlier version of this story, The Orcadian was identified as the only paper to enjoy a year-on-year circulation increase, until someone pointed out the success of the Fife Free Press.)

But they were the only exceptions to across-the-board drops in circulation. While the Alloa and Hollfoots Advertiser and the East Lothian Courier both enjoyed hikes between December and June (of 1.2 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively), they both were part of the pack with year-on-year falls (of 3.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively).

In November, the Fife Free Press went tabloid.

The eight bigger fallers were:

Buchan Observer 5,941 for the end of June, down ten per cent on the previous end of June (at 6,607)

East Kilbride News 9,408 for the end of June, down 10.3 per cent on the previous end of June (at 10,492)

Ellon Times and Inverurie Herald 2,965 for the end of June, down 10.8 per cent on the previous end of June (at 3,325)
 
Fraserburgh Herald 4,438 for the end of June, down 11.9 per cent on the previous end of June (at 5,038)

Galloway Gazette 4,470 for the end of June, down 12.6 per cent on the previous end of June (at 5,114)

Glenrothes Gazette 5,113 for the end of June, down 17.6 per cent on the previous end of June (at 6,206)

Perthshire Advertiser (Tuesday edition) 6,346 for the end of June, down ten per cent on the previous end of June (at 7,055)

Stratheran Herald 2,043 for the end of June, down 11.7 per cent on the previous end of June (at 2,315)   

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