Big fall in sales again at Yorkshire Evening Post

ladybird3Pretty bad news for the Yorkshire Evening Post from the latest circulation figures for regional daily papers released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

The paper has recorded one of the highest percentage falls in average daily circulation, down 15.7% from 26,038 to 21,946. (only four other papers in the country performed worse)

The effect of the paper’s latest revamp – introduced in January this year – isn’t covered by the figures released today, which deal with circulation in the second half of 2014. We’ll know what effect it’s had, if any, in August.

A lower than average drop of 8.9% takes sister paper The Yorkshire Post below 30,000 copies a day for the first time in living memory.

At 51,244, the combined circulation of the two Leeds-based Johnston Press papers is well below that of the Liverpool Echo (61,902). Sad though the prospect is, it does make you wonder how long publishing both will remain viable.

Heavy falls too for Bradford’s Telegraph and Argus (down 12.8% to 17,423) and the Sheffield Star (down 12.7% to 21,437).

And the permanent conundrum: how do they keep publishing the Doncaster Star with its sales now well under 1,000 a day?

Here are the details of today’s figures. Note that the The Yorkshire Post’s circulation figures include 1,318 copies that are not paid for. All the other figures represent average daily sales.


For a guesstimate of where our regional daily papers sales figures may be by the time Leeds is … say … European Capital of Culture in 2023, see last August’s story here.


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8 Responses to Big fall in sales again at Yorkshire Evening Post

  1. Stuart Bruce says:

    The latest fall in the YEP’s circulation is bad for local democracy, and highlights the importance of blogs like this that help to scrutinise and hold public bodies to account. Also highlights the importance of local councillors using social media to listen to local residents and keep them informed. If you divide the YEP’s circulation of 22,000 by 33 council wards you only get 666 per ward. A post on a local ward-based Facebook page can easily have a reach of 2,000-4,000 on a very locally focused story that is unlikely to be of interest to people outside the locality. Twitter has a lower reach, but can still be in the hundreds.

  2. I’m a big fan of both the YEP and the YP and fear for the future of news in Leeds in general, given that they are the only comprehensive news sources we’ve got and there’s little else on the horizon. I don’t think an erratic, “hobby” blog like this can in any way replace the work they do, especially as I almost give it up twice a day. Agree about councillor use of social media, though I’m afraid much of it is still broadcasting. Ditto the experiment with “community committees” moving onto Facebook. Cheers for the comment.

    • Stuart Bruce says:

      Likewise, we need the YEP, YP and Radio Leeds. Councillor use of social media varies and some are using it well. For example both @cllrmarkdobson and @karenbruce (disclaimer – my wife) use Twitter to pick up and respond to ward issues and case work publicly. The Rothwell News Facebook page gets shares, likes and comments that are all responded to and local people also share local news on it such as looking for sponsors for a junior football team. Still has a long way to go, but getting there. I don’t think Leeds City Council really understands how community committees can benefit from either Facebook or Twitter to genuinely engage with people. Most community committee meetings have few or no members of the public attending, yet little is done to encourage participation without needing to attend the meetings.

  3. Sarah Greenan says:

    In the meantime the YEP needs to look at what the Hull Daily Mail and Huddersfield Examiner are doing: both of those papers are read by a much higher proportion of their local population than the YEP. I am one of the declining number of people who have the YEP delivered, but the revamp hasn’t had much effect on its generally poor offering. Nor has the obsession with stories about sick children shown any signs of diminishing.

  4. Bruce Banner says:

    The decline in print circulation is not really a reflection of how influential or popular the YEP is in Leeds or how many people it’s reaching.
    It’s just symptomatic of the print edition being sacrificed in favour of a “digital first” policy.
    The YEP website has close to a million page impressions (clicks on stories to me and you) each month.
    People’s appetite for local news is as strong, if not stonger, than it ever has been- they’re simply getting it in a different way now (and without the cover price).
    Unfortunately nobody in local newspapers has cracked the $1m question as to how to turn those big web hits into cash and that’s why the industry, which still has a crucial role to play and some very talented individuals working in it, is stuggling so badly.

  5. Mickey Mouse says:

    Looking at these numbers in isolation without know how many people visit and read the news on the website is not seeing the full story at all.

    If website traffic and online readership have increase 3 fold, then readership is up, people are just choosing not to consume it in the same way.

    With Leeds being at the forefront of tech, digital, and many new industries, perhaps we’re just ahead of the curve and more of our population turn to the web to get their daily updates.

    This is just a decline in the *way* we choose to consume the news – paper is an outdated format and will be put to rest no doubt over the next 10 – 20 years.

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