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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Aug 23, 2013 - 8:18 AM

Irish Times, Sunday Business Post circulation down 30% since 2006
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Aug 22, 2013 - 4:16 PM

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Irish-owned daily and Sunday newspaper circulation data was issued today and it makes for grim reading at publishing firms with the average circulation of The Irish Times and The Sunday Business Post down about 30% since the first half of 2006 -- the craziest year of the Irish property bubble.

Data from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) show that all daily, Sunday and evening newspapers, continue on a downward slide.

A total 496,000 morning newspapers were sold on average daily, in the first half of 2013, down 7% on the same period of 2012; sales of Sunday newspapers were at 834,374 newspapers, off 9% while the evening total was at 74,000, down 6%.

The Irish Times dipped 9% to 84,201 copies a day, compared with 117,797 in H1 2006 - - however, The Irish Times situation is even bleaker as 12,300 or almost 15% of its daily total relates to bulk sales and free copies issued to outlets such as hotels.

The Irish Independent had a 3.9% slide with an average of 121,120 copies a day and 162,582 in 2006 - -  a decline of 26%. However in H1 2013, its retail sales were down to 101,804 copies. So bulk and free issues were at 17%.

The data for June must be a particular disappointment for Independent News & Media (INM), the struggling media group, as its 'Anglo Tapes' scoop gave it no bounce with an average daily total of 115,000 in the month.

News was also bleak for the embattled publishers of The Irish Examiner - -   the oldest Irish daily that was founded as The Cork Examiner in 1841. It went through a restructuring in the period with the State-owned AIB Bank taking a hit. The bank had also agreed a debt writedown with INM.

The Irish Examiner average circulation fell 5.8% to 37,897 copies, compared with 57,217 in 2006 -- a plunge of 34%.

The Sunday Independent dropped 2.6% to 232,494 copies; the Sunday World dipped 6.9%; The Sunday Business Post lost 6.7% to 38,292 copies. (The Sunday Times was down 8% at 98,328.)

The Post which was restructured with new owners in the first half of 2013, had a 7.8% rise in circulation to 55,876 in HI 2006 while Sunday Independent circulation was down 1.2% at 287,588 copies.

The Evening Herald fell 4.3% to 58,545 copies in H1 2013 and the Cork Evening Echo tumbled 12.3% to 15,397. The Evening Herald was selling  87,645 copies in 2006 and The Echo sales were at  27,085.

In 2006, the now defunct Sunday Tribune had a circulation of 72,184.

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