Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Saturday 11 April 2015

Don’t Menshn Sun Circulation

Newspaper circulation is in decline across the UK. Regional titles are being amalgamated, taken online only, or even shut down altogether. No national title is immune to the decline, either, with the upmarket titles all seeing paid readership decline below the magic million - in some cases, a long time ago. So one might have thought that hacks and pundits would not indulge in calling on others for losing sales, when it happens to all.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

And that thought would have been misplaced, because there is always one pundit willing to play yah-boo in order to distract from her own paper’s less than stellar circulation performance: yes, (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch is always on hand to put the boot into the deeply subversive Guardian, as a means of getting the easily convinced to “look over there”, and not to look too closely at the Sun.
This time last year, Ms Mensch was taunting the Guardian’s Michael White “Sun: 2.49 million. Guardian: 196k Feb 2014. Read 'em and weep”. Yeah, my boss’s is bigger than your boss’s, nyah nyahhdy nyaah nyaah! She is not so keen on shouting about the Super Soaraway Currant Bun right now. Why might that be? Ah well. When it comes to declining circulation, the Sun is outdoing the Guardian - and many other titles.

2.49 million”? March figures, as released by Press Gazette, show the weekday Sun at under 1.86 million, and losing circulation at an annual rate of more than 10%. Moreover, it’s been declining at more than 10% per annum for the past three months, having apparently lost more than 20% of its sales in just one year. Perhaps Ms Mensch will be reading that and weeping? Ah, but then there is her own paper.

It is the Sun on Sunday where the former MP has her well-remunerated berth, and here the story is yet more grim: sales have fallen below the 1.5 million mark, and by March were declining at an annual rate of more than 12.5%. Circulation was only 30,000 above that of the Mail On Sunday. Yes, the Guardian and sister Sunday title the Observer are also losing sales, but not on the same scale as the Murdoch tabloids.
So what does Ms Mensch have to say about that? Well, not very much. But she has broadened her range of attack to include the Mail: “Sod off Daily Mail I couldn't give a flying about Ed Miliband's private life. How are the Barclay brothers' love lives?” she retorted, although of course the Barclay brothers have nothing to do with the Mail. Never mind, have another go. How about the Guardian again?
Ooh look, here she is on that very subject: “If only other media outlets had the Guardian's guts. Truly, they are best paper in Fleet Street bar none. Progressive, beautifully written”. Interesting what happens when abuse of that dodgy substance called Creepy Uncle Rupe’s Influence is allowed to scramble the brain, eh? And don’t forget that the Sun’s online presence, unlike the Guardian, is lamentably bad.

The reality of falling circulation is that the Sun is not immune. Just rejoice at that news.


Andy McDonald said...

Is it even sensible comparing the sales of the Sun and Guardian? They're different formats, appeal to different audiences, and don't even try to compete for shared ground.

OK, I understand that the stereotypical Sun and Guardian readers are polar opposites, and the G embodies everything the Sun and it's stereotypical reader purport to hate. But a fairer comparison would be Times vs Guardian, or Sun vs Mirror.

OK, the Sun wins out there, something I'd put down to price, tits and football.

neil said...

The newsagent near where I work always rings a free copy of the Sun through the till when I buy my lunch. I've never taken it. I wonder how many 'sales' that generates nationally?

Otto said...

Zelo Street rules for digging out that 2011 Mensch tweet.

FWIW, as a brit nat living abroad I use the Graun online, followed by Indy and occasionally Torygraph, for my news. The Graun's tofu-centric handwringing-type articles get on my nerves (and i consider myself centre-lefty) but when it comes to real news reporting they're still the highest quality. The Indy's gone downhill a bit, Torygraph's OK (and the editorial line doesn't bother me, you know where they're coming from anyway). I used to read The Times before that nefarious dwarf put it behind a paywall, no way does he get a cent of my money (well, directly at least).

The Mail/Standard/Sun/Mirror/etc are just rags, a collective waste of my time, never go there (and wouldn't even if they were free access).

So sorry bout that Zelo; Only wanted to applaud the Mensch digging and ending up ranting.