Sunday red-tops suffer circulation dips in January ABC report

LONDON - The Sunday red-tops suffered the biggest year-on-year falls collectively in January across the newspaper market, but circulations across the sector picked up from a quiet December.

Circulation was down 7.9% year on year, spearheaded by double-digit falls at Trinity Mirror-owned The People, Northern & Shell-owned Daily Star Sunday and Sport Media's Sunday Sport.

The News of the World upped its circulation past three million again in January, after recording its lowest monthly circulation in nearly 50 years the month before, according to latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

However, the News International-owned red-top, which upped its cover price by 5p to £1 on 17 January, lost its status as the biggest-selling newspaper to its sister daily title The Sun.

The popular Sunday title recorded a circulation of 3,031,025 in January, a month-on-month increase of 1.5% following a quiet December but down 7.2% year on year.

The Sunday Mirror, which replicated the News of the World's cover price increase to £1, recorded a circulation of 1,244,077, up 4% month on month, but down 8.99% year on year.

The Mail on Sunday halted its slide towards the two-million circulation barrier, lifting its month-on-month total by 6.2%, to 2,189,432, although it was down 6% year on year.

Across the quality market, The Observer, which hiked its cover price to £2 on 18 January, was down 3.8% year on year, a steeper fall than The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph, but dwarfed by the  24.4% plummet by The Independent on Sunday. The left-leaning title, however, was up 9.3% month on month.

The title, like its sister daily The Independent, is scheduled to move into the Daily Mail owner Daily Mail & General Trust's offices in the next few months in a bid to reduce its cost base by sharing back office functions.

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