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Leader Circulation Drops A Further 15% With LeaderLive Website Down 4%

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 16th, 2016.

Mirroring the state of print across the UK the most recent set of figures for the Mold based title shows another drop in circulation.

Those searching ABC.org.uk for the circulation figures for NWN Media titles ( click here to view the search) see a ‘no longer registered’ message since deregistration back in 2014 and so the JICREG data is the current public source of circulation.

The Joint Industry Committee for REGional press research, or JICREG, collate ‘independently audited’ figures, which include the ‘Circ’ or circulation of the paper ie. number of copies sold or distributed which in this case covers the Wrexham, Chester and Flintshire editions of The Leader in one table. This covers the Leader, the same title that was the old ‘Evening Leader’, with the ‘Big Leader’ known officially as the ‘Wrexham Leader’.

Back in 2012 when we did our first stats piece the Leader had dropped 12% to a circulation of 16,131 , the current JICREG shows as of 2015 that is now 11,591, an overall drop of nearly a third in around 4-5 years.

The following is a 2014 / 2015 comparison table showing most areas have had a very even drop of 15% when comparing the most recent figures to the previous year:

Circulation April 2014 Circulation November 2015 Drop Percentage
Buckley 1009 857 -152 -15%
Chester 11 9 -2 -18%
Chester Rural 11 9 -2 -18%
Connah’s Quay 704 597 -107 -15%
Flint 909 772 -137 -15%
Holywell 987 837 -150 -15%
Llangollen 65 56 -9 -14%
Mold 2020 1716 -304 -15%
Queensferry 989 836 -153 -15%
Rhos 1646 1400 -246 -15%
Wrexham 3023 2567 -456 -15%
Wrexham Rural 2279 1935 -344 -15%
13653 11591 -2062 -15%

Online the LeaderLive website is not increasing either, with their new 2016 corporate brochure unveiled recently showing a -4.8% drop of pageviews (744,345 average a month compared to 782,124 average a month in their 2015 numbers).

This has been a surprise to us as there has been an upturn of content being placed online, however going by the public Facebook figures LeaderLive puts 240% more content on Facebook to get slightly less ‘engagement’ – comments, likes, shares.  (pic March 8th)

pumpingcontent

Overall Wrexham.com remains a strong performer when compared to the entire online portfolio of NWN with our (at the time of writing) 1m – 1.2m pageviews a month, with the overall NWN portfolio recording just 1.4m pageviews.

Taking the data in NWN’s corporate brochure at face value they say The Leader has a total reach of 78,968 people, broken down to 48,820 ‘unique online visitors‘  with 30,148 ‘readership‘ off a ‘circulation‘ of 11,591 (as a multiplier is applied as more than one person can read a copy of the paper).

The ‘unique online visitor‘ number of 48,820 is noted for LeaderLive.co.uk under The Leader, as well as the same figure quoted for LeaderLive.co.uk under the Wrexham Leader, and again for the Flintshire Standard as multiple titles use the site. However, elsewhere in the document LeaderLive.co.uk claims 162,000 unique visitors.

Wrexham.com has 0 (zero) print circulation, therefore 0 (zero) print readership. We do however have 147,661 unique online visitors (Feb 2016).

Using NWN’s own numbers Wrexham.com is therefore much (86%!) bigger than the Leader for Wrexham, or at 90% of the readership of the Leader depending on which figures are compared. A moot point perhaps when comparing the resources deployed.

In more positive media news The Daily Post although not having recent year-on-year print numbers have been going great guns online with a whopping 82% year on year increase in traffic (with 6 million pageviews a month recorded on the JICREG system, although we believe the current figure is well in excess of this). The achievement was not limited to being an impressive figure, but also topped the Trinity Mirror regionals list which included them beating huge sites such as the Manchester Evening News and The Liverpool Echo.

We wrote last year over concerns raised over the so called ‘clickbait targets’ at Trinity Mirror regionals, however after threats of strike action over the plans, with several National Union of Journalist chapels (including at the Daily Post) taking the historic step and actually voting to strike the plans appear to have been binned.

However it is unknown how long the peace will last with the previously engaging Daily Post twitter feed, and other Trinity Mirror ones we follow locally, recently changing manner with some ‘When is Easter?’ and other generic teasers, which if viewed outside of the twitter app or website can look rather odd. (Below, sample of the Daily Post website frontpage from yesterday morning)primark-frontpage-dailypost

Despite the headline figures appearing bad news for NWN, there has been more good media news with their  accounts noting NWN Media are now owned solely by a new ‘holding company’ called MOJO Holdings Limited, yet not noted in the latest corporate brochure which has the latest shareholder and director update stopping in 2013.

MOJO Holdings was formed in February last year, and has four directors all with current or previous connections to NWN Media Limited, with the note in the accounts reading ‘ultimate ownership has not altered’.

The good news continues as despite a slight drop in turnover to the still impressive £15,396,406 there was a 13.4% increase in the ‘Directors remuneration’ figures, showing a growth to £597,117 for 2015, with the highest paid director noted as having ‘remuneration disclosed’ as £204,475 up 14% from the previous year £178,751 . In Leader-tabloid-speak we imagine that would be deemed a bonanza!

The size of the company is shown in the numbers saying NWN, now MOJO, employ 1,657 people although 1,502 are noted as ‘distribution and sales staff’ with 77 ‘editorial’ staff.

(We were prompted to look again at the figures after spotting someone from NWN/ MOJO HQ in Mold checking out an old stats article.)

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