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Associated Newspapers’ Mail on Sunday has lost more than 250,000 copy sales since August, as migrating readers following the closure of News of the World appear to favour the more familiar tabloid territory of The Sunday Mirror and the Daily Star Sunday.

Mail on Sunday unable to retain News of The World gains

Mail on Sunday unable to retain News of The World gains

Figures published today (14 October) for the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for September 2011 highlight the Mail on Sunday as one of the sector’s biggest losers, down 5.6% on the previous month, to an average circulation of 1,979,701.

Losing so many new readers so shortly after gaining them in July will be a financial and psychology blow to the mid market Sunday leader. Associated had confidently increased its print run by three million in the immediate aftermath of News of the World closing.

Despite the paper initially gaining new copy sales in August, when its circulation rose from 1,927,791 to 2,255,399, the short-term gains look likely to have ended up costing the publisher due to its decision to drop its cover price from £1.50 to £1.

Underlying circulation revenues in the 11 weeks to 18 September were reported to be down 4% following the temporary price discounting.

Speculation that Associated is considering to launch a tabloid Sunday newspaper have so far failed to come to fruition, meanwhile the existing Sunday redtops continue to reap the benefits.

Trinity’s Sunday Mirror remains the biggest beneficiary of News of the World’s demise, with a circulation of 1,845,683 in September. Despite representing a fall of 2.9% since August, it can boast almost 758,000 more sales since June – up 63.9% year on year.

In September, circulation for Trinity Mirror stablemate the People was up 57.6% on last year, 5.9% month on month, to 839,182.

Northern & Shell’s Daily Star Sunday also continues to benefit with the largest rise relative to its circulation, up 89.3% year on year to 703,319. It represents a 5.6% monthly drop for the title, which will be hoping to stabilise and lock-in its new readership for the rest of the year.

View the full table of September National Newspaper ABC figures

 By Arif Durrani, mediaweek.co.uk, 14 October 2011, 03:20PM

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