Broadsheets increase market share

AUSTRALIAN newspapers are continuing to hold circulation amid the economic downturn, registering half the size of falls seen in similar Western economies.

Combined circulations drops just 2.1 percent in the Sept-Dec 08 period, compared with falls of up to 5.1 percent in Britain, according to analysis released by The Newspaper Works.

The leading broadsheet newspapers – Fairfax’s The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, plus The Australian from the News Ltd stable – all increased their circulations.

The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation showed The Australian – that country’s national daily – increased weekday sales 1.5 per cent to 137,000 from the same time a year ago, while sales of The Weekend Australian was three points higher at 309,000.

Sales of the inter-state tabloids dipped, however, with softer outcomes in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

The chief executive of Fairfax Media, Brian McCarthy said last Friday that the overall results showed their more newspapers were being bought than five years ago.

His colleague and publisher of Fairfax’s metropolitan newspapers, Lloyd Whish-Wilson, told the Sydney Morning Herald the was “very pleased” with his company’s performance and that “people continue to turn to us to get the news”.

He said Fairfax had held its own in a difficult circulation period and made market-share gains in the weekday newspaper markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

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