Advertiser is runaway winner in local newspaper circulation race

Massive decrease in sales and readership of paid-for newspapers

The massive print towers at the Irish Times print complex where the Galway Advertiser and all its sister publications are printed each week.

The massive print towers at the Irish Times print complex where the Galway Advertiser and all its sister publications are printed each week.

The Galway Advertiser is the highest circulation local newspaper in the country, according to the latest audited figures released by the UK-based Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC ).

At a time when the vast majority of local newspapers and especially the paid-for newspapers are suffering embarrassing downturns in readership, circulation and advertising sales, the Galway Advertiser has again shown its strength by being Ireland’s biggest and most widely circulated local newspaper.

The ABC circulation figures are the recognised indicator of accurate newspaper circulation levels — and it publishes reports twice annually to monitor the TRUE levels of newspaper circulation in both paid-for and free newspaper markets.

The figures come at a time of plummeting circulation in the sales of paid-for local newspapers, with many local newspapers experiencing falls of up to 25 per cent in readership over the past two years. This, coupled with free-falling advertising sales figures in paid-for newspapers, has seen many old traditional newspapers in the region being currently forced into massive restructuring in a bid to survive.

ABC also publishes the accepted sales and readership figures for all of the top national and international newspapers in Ireland and the UK.

In the Galway area, the Galway Advertiser has been confirmed as the largest circulation local newspaper, not just in this region, but in the entire country.

A total certified door-to-door circulation of 29,354, plus bulk circulation of 33,120 makes the Galway Advertiser the runaway leader in the race to be Galway's favourite newspaper.

Circulation figures for the Connacht Tribune or Connacht Sentinel have not been reported for the second consecutive period.

The Galway Independent has also failed to report bulk circulation figures for the second consecutive six-month period.

Industry sources say that failure to report figures by newspapers who had previously done so is an indication of an even more dramatic fall in circulation than was feared.

Many newspapers have opted not to be certified by ABC, as they strive to conceal plummeting sales and circulation figures in a time of unprecdented crisis for the ledia industry.

Only one paid-for newspaper in Galway has opted for ABC figures — the Tuam Herald which has an audited circulation of 9,267, a drop of just one per cent on its previous figures.

The latest results from ABC of the circulation figures for Ireland's local paid for newspapers show the trend of decreasing circulation has intensified, with some papers no longer reporting figures.

Industry insiders are putting this failure to report figures down to the dramatic fall-off in circulation for many local paid for newspapers throughout the country.

ABC circulation figures are reported twice yearly for Ireland’s regional press, and the latest report, covering the period January to June 2009, confirms the alarming rate of decline for many local papers.

However, the latest ABC figures show that the paid-for newspaper market in Ireland is suffering major losses in newspaper sales, advertising sales and crucially readership.

Many paid-for newspapers in the region are planning or have already implemented layoffs, wage cuts and working hour reductions in a bid to survive. Media owners are now trying to reduce staff numbers to sustainable levels.

It is believed that many consumers are refusing to pay prices as high as €2 weekly per newspaper when there is so much free media available through free newspapers and free local radio. The tumbling sales figures of paid-for local newspapers comes at a time when Government advertising, which was traditionally monopolised by the older paid-for newspapers, has been significantly scaled back.

Owned by the media industry, ABC independently verifies and reports on media performance, providing a major trading currency for media buyers and owners across print, events, digital and evolving platforms.

The full details of the latest newspaper figures are available online at www.abc.org.uk

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