There was a net loss of at least 30 local newspapers last year, new Press Gazette research has found.
According to Press Gazette’s tally this puts the net loss of local titles since 2005 up to 228.
A total of 40 newspapers closed while ten were newly launched in the 12 months from 1 January to 31 December 2017.
The figures are based on reports of title closures and launches on both Press Gazette and Hold The Front Page.
There were also a number of cuts to newsroom staff in 2017, with our research showing that at least 252 jobs were axed, but about 207 jobs created, leading to a net loss of 45 jobs.
Job losses and gains were calculated based on maximum expectations reported at the time.
New jobs include the 150 BBC Local Democracy Reporter roles created to plug the so-called “democratic deficit” caused by cuts and closures in the local press.
Trinity Mirror closed more titles than any other publisher, with 12 shut down in total over the year.
Newsquest launched seven newspapers, more than any other publisher.
But it closed the Sale & Altrincham Messenger and the Stretford & Urmston Messenger, which were merged into the newly launched Messenger newspaper in December.
Other papers to close include the 160 year-old Oldham Evening Chronicle in September (later relaunched as an online-only title in February after being bought out by Credible Media).
The new figures brings the total number of local paper closures, from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2017, to 86.
Since 2005, 148 newspapers have launched and 379 have closed.
Local newspaper CLOSURES in the UK from 1 January to 31 December 2017 (in order of publisher):
|Kent on Sunday||Archant||Weekly|
|Westminster &Pimlico News||Capital Media Newspapers||Weekly|
|Kensington and Chelsea news||Capital Media Newspapers||Weekly|
|Fulham Chronicle||Capital Media Newspapers||Weekly|
|Shepards Bush Chronicle||Capital Media Newspapers||Weekly|
|Oldham Evening Chronicle (relaunched as website)||Hirst, Kidd and Rennie||Daily|
|Beverly Guardian||Johnston Press||Weekly|
|Hemel Hempstead Gazette||Johnston Press||Weekly|
|Berkhamstead & Tring Gazette||Johnston Press||Weekly|
|Hemel Express||Johnston Press||Weekly|
|Sale & Altrincham Messenger||Newsquest||Weekly|
|Stretford & Urmston Messenger||Newsquest||Weekly|
|Kidderminster Express and Star||Midlands News Association||Daily|
|Amargh Observer (FREE)||Observer newspapers||Monthly|
|Amargh-Down Observer||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Ballymena Chronicle||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Dundalk Advertiser (FREE)||Observer newspapers||monthly|
|Dungannon Observer||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Fermanagh News||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Lurgan and Portadown Examiner||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Mid Ulster Observer||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Newry Advertiser||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Democrat (Sunday)||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Ulster Farmer||Observer newspapers||Weekly|
|Barnet Press||Tindle Newspapers||Weekly|
|Enfield Advertiser||Tindle Newspapers||Weekly|
|Haringey Advertiser||Tindle Newspapers||Weekly|
|Beverly Advertiser||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Surrey and Hants Star Courier (FREE)||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Bristol Observer (FREE)||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Bedfordshire on Sunday||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|The Ely News||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Haverhill News||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Newmarket news||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Canterbury Times||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Whitstable times||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Herne Bay Times||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Faversham Times||Trinity Mirror||Weekly|
|Wirral News (FREE)||Trinity Mirror||fortnightly|
Local newspaper LAUNCHES in the UK from 1 January to 31 December 2017 (in order of publisher):
|Hemel Hempstead Gazette and Express||Johnston Press||Weekly|
|St George & Redfield Voice||Local Voice Network||Monthly|
|Thornbury Voice||Local Voice Network||Monthly|
|Darlington Despatch (Revival)||Newsquest||Weekly|
|Warrington Post (FREE)||Newsquest||Weekly|
|The National Monthly||Newsquest||Monthly|
|The Post (FREE)||Newsquest||Weekly|
Looking at overall circulation figures for the year for those titles audited by ABC (not all titles are audited), not one regional publisher experienced circulation growth on the previous year.
Trinity Mirror remains the biggest regional publisher, with a total circulation of 1,598,285 across its 129 local publications.
Newsquest was the second largest publisher with a total circulation of 1,344,379 across its 118 publications, but this does not include its acquisition of Carlisle-based publisher CN Group in February.
Even if the group’s circulation figures were added in, Newsquest would still be some 100,000 copies behind Trinity Mirror’s overall figure.
Trinity Mirror and Newsquest own more titles than any other regional publisher. The total number of titles for every other UK regional publisher combined is 129.
The National Union of Journalists have warned of a new “duopoly” in UK local media run by Newsquest and Trinity Mirror, following a number of buyouts.
The biggest losses in circulation were felt across Midlands News Association dailies and Archant dailies, which slumped 14 and 15 per cent year-on-year respectively.
Only the Johnston Press non-daily segment showed growth out of the nine publishers. The Scotland on Sunday- its only audited regional non-daily title- grew 1 per cent year-on-year.
|Publisher||Frequency||Total overall circulation||Year-on-year % change||Total no. of titles|
|Scottish Provincial Press||Daily||N/A|
|Scottish Provincial Press||Non-Daily||78,873||-13%||17|