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Waikato Times Edges into Number Four Position

8 November 2007

Waikato Times Edges into Number Four Position

The Waikato Times has moved against the national trend for newspaper circulation, and increased its average daily circulation to 42,152, becoming the country’s fourth largest daily newspaper.

In the September 2007 ABC audit, the Waikato Times increased its average daily circulation in the past six months to a 17 year high, which edged it ahead of its long-time rival, the Otago Daily Times, for the number four spot.

“The past three years have been extremely positive for the Waikato Times,” said Fairfax Media CEO Joan Withers

“During the last six months the Waikato Times again increased circulation as people in the Waikato responded to the quality, depth and credibility of its national and local news coverage.

“It has firmly established itself as a metropolitan newspaper.”

While the newspaper market declined marginally, “Fairfax Media daily newspapers with circulations above 25,000 experienced declines in circulation of less than 0.2% in the last 12 months, an excellent performance given the national average loss was 0.7%,” said Ms Withers.

“New Zealand newspapers have performed well when newspapers in countries such as the United States have recently reported declines in circulation of up to 2.6%.”*

Flagship masthead, The Dominion Post, held its circulation above 98,000 for the third consecutive year, The Press held its circulation steady on 89,000 while The Southland Times, which still reaches over 70% of Southlanders 15+ over the course of the week**, had a circulation result of 28,797.

“The circulation of Fairfax Media’s two Sunday newspapers – the Sunday Star Times and Sunday News – year-on-year declined but saw promising gains in the past six months,” said Ms Withers. “The six month trend indicates our Sunday titles have stabilised their circulations.

“The Sunday Star Times retained its premier position with an average circulation of more than 182,000 copies, close to double that of the two other Sunday mastheads, which share circulations of 92,000.

“The growing reputation of The Independent Financial Review as an informed business commentator saw it increase its circulation by 26% off a modest base, and it now has a circulation of 4090. In contrast, the circulation of its rival business publication declined by 5.5%.”

Fairfax Media retained its number one spot as the country’s most influential media group, including newspaper publishing.

• 3 out of 4 of the top circulating daily newspapers are Fairfax titles.
• 6 out of every 10 Sunday and daily newspapers with circulations above 25, 000 are Fairfax titles.
• 7 out of every 10 newspapers purchased on a Sunday are Fairfax titles.
• 52% of all daily newspapers with circulations above 25,000 are Fairfax titles.

“These latest circulation results show that Fairfax Media newspapers remain a core source of news and information for most of us, and that the changes being made to meet readers preferences are cementing their relevance,” said Ms Withers.

Sources: Audit Bureau of Circulation 6 months ending September 2007 (>25,000)
* United States September 2007 Audit
** Nielsen Regional Readership Survey July 06 – June 07, All people 15+


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