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News Corp regional strength is in Queensland whereas Australian Community Media is strongest in NSW/ACT

The latest Roy Morgan readership results show News Corp’s regional newspaper strength is based in Queensland while regional newspaper rival Australian Community Media (ACM) is strongest in New South Wales and the ACT.

The latest Roy Morgan readership results show News Corp’s regional newspaper strength is based in Queensland while regional newspaper rival Australian Community Media (ACM) is strongest in New South Wales and the ACT.

The two companies control the publishing industry in regional and rural Australia. There has been talk recently that the two brands would come together under one banner however in recent days News Corp has decided against selling its regional titles.

News Corp’s leading regional titles include the Gold Coast Bulletin with a four week print readership of 215,000, The Hobart Mercury read by 171,000, the Townsville Bulletin read by 129,000, the Geelong Advertiser read by 127,000, the Cairns Post read by 115,000 and the Northern Territory News read by 56,000.

Australian Community Media’s leading titles include the Newcastle Herald with a four week print readership of 246,000, the Illawarra Mercury read by 154,000, Canberra Times read by 151,000, the Launceston Examiner read by 102,000 and The Advocate in Tasmania read by 61,000.

The best performing regional newspaper over the past year has been Australian Commuinty Media (ACM) owned The Examiner, based in the Tasmanian city of Launceston, which increased its weekday average issue print readership by 14.3 per cent to 32,000.

Leading News Corp Regional Newspapers – Ranked by 4 week Print Readership

M-F Average Issue
Print Readership

Print
(4 weeks)

Publication

12m to Mar 2019*

12m to Mar 2020*

% Change

Jan-Mar 2020

‘000s

‘000s

%

‘000s

Gold Coast Bulletin

52

43

-17.3%

215

The Hobart Mercury

52

48

-7.7%

171

Townsville Bulletin

43

38

-11.6%

129

Geelong Advertiser

40

34

-15.0%

127

Cairns Post

38

30

-21.1%

115

Northern Territory News

26

16

-38.5%

56

Leading Australian Community Media Newspapers – Ranked by 4 week Print Readership

M-F Average Issue
Print Readership

Print
(4 weeks)

Publication

12m to Mar 2019*

12m to Mar 2020*

% Change

Jan-Mar 2020

‘000s

‘000s

%

‘000s

Newcastle Herald

56

48

-14.3%

246

Illawarra Mercury

32

28

-12.5%

154

Canberra Times

41

41

-

151

The (Launceston) Examiner

28

32

14.3%

102

The Advocate

25

19

-24.0%

61

*Year –over-Year comparisons for Print readership are for average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

Canberra Times leads the way with Enhanced Cross-Platform Audience of over 1 million

In the three months of the March quarter 2020 the total cross-platform audiences of Australia’s leading regional titles are led by the Canberra Times with a total cross-platform audience of 1,052,000 in an average four weeks ahead of The Hobart Mercury on 429,000 and the Newcastle Herald on 380,000.

Total Enhanced Cross-Platform Audiences for available regional titles

Cross-Platform Audience is the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print, web or app, and includes access via Apple News. In line with traditional digital measures all results are 4 week estimates rather than print currency ‘average issue readership’ (AIR).

Publication

Print
(4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total Cross-Platform Audience
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Jan-Mar
2020

Jan-Mar
2020

Jan-Mar
2020

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

Canberra Times

151

978

1,052

The Hobart Mercury

171

308

429

Newcastle Herald

246

247

380

Full Newspaper Enhanced Cross-Platform Audience available to view here.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says:

“News Corp recently decided against selling their regional titles to rival Australian Community Media. When considering the regional newspaper market it is clear a consolidation between these two businesses would dominate the regional newspaper market around Australia.

“If News Corp and Australian Community Media combined the merged entity would control the largest newspaper in 19 of the 20 largest regional newspaper markets. These regional markets include the Gold Coast (population 680,000), Newcastle-Maitland (500,000), Canberra-Queanbeyan (460,000), all the way down to Bundaberg (70,000).

“The two businesses are complementary with News Corp controlling the leading regional titles in Queensland whereas Australian Community Media is strongest in NSW and the ACT.

“Although merger talks between the two have been called off for the time being the potential of combining Australia’s largest regional newspaper groups will continue to be a discussion point as the traditional Australian media industry consolidates to confront an increasingly digital future.”

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