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Sunday Star-Times Achieves Biggest Circulation

Media Release

Tuesday 18th November 2003

Sunday Star-Times Achieves NZ’s Biggest Circulation;
Steady Performance Across Fairfax NZ Papers

The latest ABC audit reveals the Sunday Star-Times has achieved the biggest official circulation of any New Zealand newspaper.

Year-on-year figures to September 2003 show circulation for the Sunday Star-Times increased 2.2% from 205,916 to 210,519 - more than 3,000 ahead of the average sales per issue of the NZ Herald which suffered a 1.86% drop in circulation for the same period.

Circulation for The Sunday Star-Times’ sister publication The Sunday News also increased from 113,422 to 114,919 (+1.3%).

The Press and Daily News remain steady. The Dominion Post figures are skewed due to the fact 2002 was a provisional figure as it was only audited for 73 days in its new merged format as compared with 148 days in 2003. During the same period subscriber numbers for The Dominion Post increased by 3,662 (+8.26%)

In the six months from April to September The Waikato Times circulation was 41,783 (down 0.48% year-on-year). The figures only include three months of the newspaper’s change to a morning edition on Saturdays during which time non-subscriber sales have increased by around 15%.

Brian Evans, CEO of Fairfax New Zealand, said the latest circulation figures continue a positive trend for Fairfax newspapers.

“The increases for both Sunday newspapers highlight the fact many New Zealanders now see our Sunday newspapers as an essential part of their weekend reading.

“The Sunday newspaper market in New Zealand has still some way to go to reach the maturity of overseas markets, but we are making significant headway. The recent appointment of Cate Brett as Sunday Star-Times editor will further enhance our progress.

“The audit period for The Dominion Post and The Waikato Times cover periods of significant change for both mastheads but the benefits are starting to come through as readers and advertisers become accustomed to the changes.

“We are entering an exciting period with the Fairfax stable of newspapers as we continue to look at new ways to enhance our offering to readers and advertisers,” concluded Mr Evans.

ENDS


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