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August 18, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:30am

The biggest newspaper groups in the UK: Rothermere and Murdoch control two thirds of market

By Freddy Mayhew

Two men control more than two-thirds of the UK’s print newspaper market: Lord Rothermere and Rupert Murdoch.

Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail and General Trust, which owns the Mail, Metro and i titles, is the largest national newspaper group in the UK in terms of revenue, daily circulation and the combined monthly reach of its newsbrands (print readership + online traffic).

DMGT claims a 46% share of the UK national daily print market (ABC figures for each title combined), which includes the free Metro, followed by Murdoch’s News UK, which owns the Sun and Times titles.

But when it comes to the UK national Sunday print market News UK dominates, with two big-selling titles to DMGT’s one.

Press Gazette’s analysis does not include free dailies the Evening Standard and City AM as well as smaller paid-for titles such as the Daily Record, limiting the print market to the major news groups. It is also a snapshot of the news industry pre-Covid crisis, which has caused major disruption.

Scroll down for tables showing biggest UK news groups

Rothermere’s family have been running newspapers in the UK for more than a century. Murdoch has been a major force since be bought the broadsheet Sun in 1968 and relaunched it as a popular tabloid.

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The Daily Mail overtook The Sun to become the UK’s best-selling daily newspaper in May, a title that had been held by the red-top for more than 40 years, since its rise to the top under Murdoch’s ownership.

There are six major newspaper publishers in the UK in total, who between them own all 20 paid-for daily and Sunday national print titles.

Reach owns the most national newspapers with seven titles, after the Mirror group bought the Express and Star titles for £127m in 2018. According to the latest available accounts it is also the most profitable.

Between them the three major publishers – Reach, DMGT and News UK – own 90% of the UK national daily and Sunday print market.

Biggest UK national newspaper groups (ranked by turnover)

 Financials are for 2019 with the exception of TMG and FT which are 2018

News group Turnover Profit / (loss)
DMGT £1.3bn £134m
News UK £750.2m (£64.1m)
Reach £702.5m £150.6m
Financial Times £323.6m £8.2m
Telegraph Media Group £271.4m £0.9m
Guardian Media Group £224.5m £30.8m

*News UK financial figures combine NGN and Times Newspapers

Biggest UK national newspaper groups (ranked by circulation)

Biggest UK national newspaper groups (ranked by combined monthly brand reach)

Figures below are from Pamco and are not de-duped.

News Group Newsbrands Total monthly brand reach (Pamco)
DMGT Daily Mail 76.9m
Mail on Sunday
Mail Online
Metro FREE
i / i Weekend
Reach Daily Mirror 73.4m
Sunday Mirror
Daily Express
Sunday Express
Daily Star
Daily Star Sunday
Sunday People
News UK The Times 55.8m
Sunday Times
The Sun
The Sun on Sunday
Guardian Media Group The Guardian 35.6m
The Observer
Telegraph Media Group Daily Telegraph 29.1m
Sunday Telegraph
Financial Times Financial Times / FT Weekend

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