Sentinel bucks decline in the Sunday market

Stoke-on-Trent's Sentinel Sunday was top performer in the regional Sundays, posting a 13.8 per cent rise in the ABC figures for the second half of 2006.

In the first half of 2006 the paper had suffered a loss of 19 per cent following a 10p price rise, but in the next six months the Northcliffe-owned title raised its year-on-year sales average from 11,530 to 13,126.

Editor Paul Dutton said the rise was due in part to the paper's switch to a tabloid format on 6 August last year.

"Without sounding smug, we are very pleased. Readers and advertisers were telling us they wanted a tabloid, so that's what we did.

"We've also taken the paper a bit more towards the daily Sentinel to draw in the daily readers."

The Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based Sunday Sun suffered a dip in circulation of 6.1 per cent, as did Birmingham's Sunday Mercury.

Wales on Sunday saw its circulation figure drop from 47,724 to 43,129, a decrease of 9.6 per cent year-on-year.

Wayne Ellis, deputy editor at the paper said it had suffered from the growth of internet news and national papers such as the News of the World printing more Welsh editions.

"The biggest factor is the same thing that affects everyone else… you can get so much more information from the internet and TV news," he said.

Northern Ireland's Sunday Journal put on three per cent, while in the Republic, the Sunday Business Post celebrated a 4.6 per cent rise. Fellow Irish titles the Sunday Independent and Sunday World posted small gains. The Sunday Tribune saw its year-on-year figure drop by 3.5 per cent.

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