Bloomberg News

Daily Mail's Evening Standard Sees Circulation Slide

December 08, 2006

Circulation of the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT)'s Evening Standard newspaper, London's only paid- for evening newspaper, slipped in November amid increased competition from the capital's two free newspapers.

The average distribution per issue of the Evening Standard was 272,488 in November, down 3.4 percent from October and a decline of 12.5 percent from a year earlier, the U.K.'s Audit Bureau of Circulations said today in an e-mailed statement.

News Corp. (NWS:US), the New York-based media company run by Rupert Murdoch, took the top spot in the battle between the two free London newspapers, as theLondonpaper extended its lead over its rival, London Lite, published by Daily Mail & General Trust.

The average distribution per issue of theLondonpaper, introduced Sept. 4, was 425,508 in November, compared with 395,048 for London Lite, introduced Aug. 30. TheLondonpaper, which held the top spot in October, gained 13 percent from that month, compared with an increase of 6 percent for London Lite.

The introduction of London Lite and thelondonpaper sparked the biggest newspaper war in the U.K. capital since 1986 when the Independent, Today and Sunday Sport were introduced. Both companies have vendors around the city pushing their newspapers into commuters' arms.

Circulation of national daily newspapers continues to drop with Trinity Mirror Plc (TNI)'s mass-market Daily Mirror down 3.2 percent to 1,549,573 copies and News Corp. (NWSA:US)'s Sun 1.1 percent lower at 3,072,828 copies in November.

Quality Newspapers

Among the so-called quality papers, the Daily Telegraph added 1,195 copies to 901,238, while Pearson Plc (PSON)'s Financial Times slipped 1.5 percent to 432,980 copies. News Corp.'s Times newspaper declined 0.4 percent to 653,780 copies and is 3.9 percent lower from a year earlier.

In Sunday papers, The People, owned by Trinity Mirror, has seen circulation numbers fall 3.1 percent in November and 11 percent from a year earlier. The Observer, owned by Guardian News and Media reversed last month's gain with a decline of 7.9 percent in November.

The Daily Star Sunday fell 8.3 percent in November, while the Sunday Express slipped 4.2 percent and 8.5 percent from a year earlier. Both titles are owned by Richard Desmond's London- based Northern & Shell Group Ltd.

In the so-called mid market, the Daily Mail fell 2.4 percent to 2,295,101 copies and the Daily Express declined 1.8 percent to 774,665 copies.

The Sunday Sport, a tabloid specializing in far-fetched stories, celebrity gossip and pictures of semi-naked women, fell 8.3 percent in November and is 30 percent lower from a year earlier, the figures showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Herlihy in London at Mherlihy1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zimri Smith at zsmith@bloomberg.net.


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