Better sales figures for Scottish newspapers

Image caption The Herald and Scotsman recorded their best sales for several months

There was some relief for Scotland's national newspapers last month, according to the latest sales figures.

The Herald and The Scotsman both enjoyed their best sales for several months although their circulations were both well down on last year.

The Herald had headline sales of 55,135 while The Scotsman had an average circulation of 46,138 copies each day.

Meanwhile, The Daily Record's Scottish sales moved above the 300,000 barrier again after a dip in recent months.

The recovery at The Herald may be a sign that its sales are starting to stabilise. This is its best circulation figure since April.

New editor Jonathan Russell made a change in his first few days in the job which would have been immediately obvious to many regular readers, radically redesigning the front page to make it much more bold and eye-catching.

'Ominous' decline

The move was the subject of much discussion amongst other media professionals and the sales figures may indicate that it has caught the eye of casual readers too.

The Scotsman always tends to put on sales in August during the Edinburgh Festival.

But for both the papers, which consider themselves to be Scotland's quality press, the annual comparisons are still ominous.

The Scotsman dropped from 50,570 in August 2009 to 46,138 last month. The Herald fell from 58,157 to 55,135.

In the case of The Scotsman almost 4,000 of the circulation is accounted for by copies given away free at places such as hotels and airports.

Across the UK, The Times, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian all saw bigger annual percentage declines than The Herald and The Scotsman within Scotland.

The Daily Mail sold more than 120,000 copies a day in Scotland last month while The Times sold nearly 24,000. The Daily Telegraph was bought by just over 23,000 people a day.

The Scottish edition of The Sun had a circulation of 344,000.

On Sundays, the Sunday Herald had a circulation of 43,788 within Scotland, Scotland on Sunday 57,119 and the Sunday Times 63,850.

The Sunday Times scaled back its Scottish operation in June but it still comfortably outsells the quality papers published north of the border.

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