Regional ABCs: Circulation growth for Scotsman and Irish News as many record double-digit decline

The Scotsman and the Irish News were the only daily regional newspapers to grow their circulations in the first half of the year, new ABC figures show.

The Johnston Press-owned Scotsman, which marked its 200th anniversary this year, boosted its combined circulation to 21,214 – up 9 per cent on the previous six months and 4.5 per cent year-on-year.

The figure includes 5,344 bulks – more than double the number issued over the six months to the end of December and over the same period last year.

When bulks are removed, the title’s period-to-period growth drops to 8 per cent and its circulation falls by -5 per cent year-on-year.

Independent newspaper the Irish News had a circulation of 36,115 – up 2 per cent on the previous six-month period and 0.5 per cent year-on-year.

There was double-figure year-on-year circulation decline for more than half of the 37 daily regional newspapers audited over the six months to the end of June, including the Liverpool Echo, Yorkshire Post and Birmingham Mail.

Among those worst hit were the Manchester Evening News, down 19 per cent year-on-year to 42,285, and the Carlisle News & Star West, also down 19 per cent year-on-year to 2,256.

The Express & Star (West Midlands) is still the UK’s best-selling regional daily at 51,722, down 13.4 per cent year-on-year.

The Derby Telegraph held circulation at just under 19,000 on the previous period.