Newspaper and magazine circulation continues to show steady signs of decline, according to second-quarter Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures released yesterday, writes Thom McLachlan in Business Day.


"The honeymoon is over," ABC deputy president Gordon Patterson told a packed room of media industry players yesterday. Patterson said that, in line with a recent Econometrix analysis, print media circulation had and would continue to mirror the country's gross domestic product growth slowdown.

Mike Leahy of Ibis Media agreed, saying that when advertisers cut back on their adspend, due to slower growth in the economy, this affected the number of copies printed in any particular title.

Consumer magazines, Patterson said, were still showing the worst figures with a real decline – which excludes new titles – of 4,5% since the same time last year and overall decline of 1,5%.

He said the women's general interest category showed a "catfight of note" and had continued cannibalising itself with 90% of the titles unchanged or declining.

Ironically, male magazines were 10,2% up compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

Patterson added that 68% of daily newspapers showed no growth or decline compared to the corresponding quarter last year. However they had grown overall 7,5% since this time last year. Weekend papers grew circulation 5% with Business Day sister publication, The Weekender, bursting through the 10000 mark for the first time.

Leahy said yesterday that while the top end of the market was slowing in growth, the bottom end was doing well and showing signs of overall growth in readership in print products.

Figures for the first-half of this year showed community newspapers grew nearly 7,5%.

Click here to read full story in Business Day