Mercury’s rising sales show it is at heart of community

The success of the Great Yarmouth Mercury in giving readers unrivalled coverage of local news, sport and entertainment has paid off in rising sales, according to the latest figures from the newspaper circulation watchdog.

The Mercury was one of only a very small number of weekly newspapers around the country to see its circulation rise in the second half of 2011 – its third successive rise in half-year sales.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) said an average of 17,175 copies of the Mercury were sold each week between July and December, a rise of 7.3% compared to the second half of 2010.

Mercury editor Anne Edwards welcomed the industry-beating performance.

She said: “It’s a wonderful boost for the team based in Great Yarmouth. We look upon ourselves as representing the views of the communities we cover, as well as reporting the news which comes out of those same communities. And this is our third consecutive ABC increase, a testament to the commitment of the staff.”

“Because we are based and work in the community we know what our readers are interested in, but rest assured we will keep trying to make the Mercury, it’s website and social media site, even better.”

The circulation figures also revealed rising sales for the Mercury’s sister newspapers around Norfolk and Suffolk, including the Lowestoft Journal and Eastern Daily Press, all published by community media group Archant.

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Separate statistics also show a sharp rise in readership online. There were 28.012 unique visitors to in January this year, a rise of 32.3% on the same month last year. Page impressions over the same period rose by 32.4% to 206,341.

Andrew Orchard, general commercial manager for the Norfolk weeklies, said: “These circulation figures are testament to the success of our editorial and commercial teams in delivering the kind of content people want and advertising that delivers results.

“They show how we are at the centre of our communities and reflect our effort to engage with our readers week-in, week-out in print and hour by hour online.

“We’re delivering a growing audience for our advertisers – that’s audited and official.

“All credit to the title editors and journalists, sales teams and distribution colleagues who are responsible for this success. We’re proud of products and delighted by these circulation figures.”

Johnny Hustler, managing director of Archant Anglia, added: “I must thank all our readers - this is fantastic news and a great tribute to our staff who are devoted to improving the quality of our newspapers. I am especially pleased we are giving our advertisers even better value for money by increasing the size of their audience.”