Irish News is officially out on its own as number one newspaper in UK and Ireland

OUT ON ITS OWN: The Irish News has climbed to the number one position in the UK and Ireland for combined print and digital sales. Picture: Mal McCann
Gary McDonald Business Editor

FOR the first time in its history, The Irish News has climbed to the number one position in the UK and Ireland for combined print and digital sales.

Figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the independent body which verifies and monitors media performance, show that between January and June this year, The Irish News' average daily circulation is 25,010.

And that puts the paper ahead of the Aberdeen Press & Journal (24,852), which had topped the league table for the last two years.

It comes at a pivotal time for the paper which, with sister media brands Q Radio and Interpress, has come together under the new single umbrella group name of IntoMedia.

It follows The Irish News leaving its iconic base at Donegall Street after 117 years and moving to new state-of-the-art offices at the Fountain Centre on Belfast's College Street.

And it also comes in the wake of Irish News editor Noel Doran announcing in June that he will stand down next April after 25 years in the role.

He joined the paper in 1993 and was appointed editor in April 1999, making him the longest serving daily newspaper editor in the UK and Ireland.

Becoming the UK and Ireland's best performing regional daily newspaper is being seen as testament to his leadership at a time when all print titles are reporting a decline in sales.

Yet while most media houses across these islands are contracting, The Irish News and IntoMedia are doing exactly the opposite by investing in technology and adding to its 132-strong payroll.

“Reaching this number one position for the first time is symbolic, and underlines the continued investment across the whole of our business,” said IntoMedia chief executive Dominic Fitzpatrick.

“It demonstrates how the paper offers authoritative, trustworthy and highly credible journalism, notable by its balance and integrity.

“It is also testament to the work of all our staff, and we're also hugely grateful for the support of our readers and advertisers.”

The News Letter’s daily circulation has fallen to 7,213 while the Belfast Telegraph is among a number of UK titles which have chosen not to have their paper sales officially audited by the ABC.

The UK's top 10-selling regional daily newspapers in January-June 2023 (based on combined print and digital sales) are:

  • The Irish News 25,010
  • Aberdeen Press & Journal 24,852
  • Dundee Courier 19,264
  • Eastern Daily Press 13,907
  • Liverpool Echo 13,432
  • Express & Star 13,213
  • Yorkshire Post 10,634
  • Aberdeen Eve. Express 10,171
  • Shropshire Star 9,914
  • The Northern Echo 9,405