tip off

Media briefs: print woes… Serious Charge … meet the Spectators …

The Age sells has lost 20% of its circulation in a year. And other media tidbits of the day.

Print papers continue to fall. The Age sells 20% fewer papers now than it did a year ago, according to circulations figures released this morning by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. It’s the largest single percentage decline in another set of falling figures.

On a company-by-company basis, Fairfax’s print circulations are down 12.92% year-on-year, according to figures complied by Fusion Strategy. News Corp’s declines aren’t as bad - 8.55% - while Seven West Media’s papers have lost 7.73% of their circulations in 12 months.

Only four papers so far release their digital subscription numbers, but on these, Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and Age are the clear winners. If you look  at total circulation by company, Fairfax is up 15.64%, while News is down 6.5% and Seven West is down 7.73%. However, notes Fusion Strategy’s Steve Allen, he has no doubt Fairfax’s total-circulation-boosting digital dominance is leading to a decline in its print sales. “So who has the right strategy, Fairfax or News? One resists the (in our view) inevitable, the other embraces it,” Allen wrote in his analysis.

Most papers were down around 10% in print circulations, but The Courier Mail, The Australian and the Australian Financial Review bucked the trend somewhat. Those papers lost 2.4%, 5.8% and 7.6% of their print circulations respectively.

A Serious Charge indeed. Media covering the latest celeb scandal in the UK — Cliff Richard’s home being searched in relation to an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor — had no shortage of music to kick off their clips. The BBC’s PM program played it straight, with no music, but ABC radio went to town, kicking the story off with Living Doll and playing Young Ones under. Even Summer Holiday has a sinister kick in this context. Luckily, no one was tempted by Daddy’s Home.  —  Guy Rundle

Attack of the Spectator clones. Have you ever wondered what sort of people put together The Spectator, both the stately UK version and the screechy rag that is the Australian edition? Look no further. Here’s UK writer crazy Peter Hitchens (mad brother of the late Christopher) sitting down to do a kinematograph bakelite picture show (vid) with two staffers.

No, that’s not a trick mirror in the room. Those are two actual young men. They all look like that, though some, sadly, are scalped for their hair, which are made into dog beds for the Cheshire Hunt. —  Guy Rundle

Front page of the day. This one’s a bit of navel gazing, but we’re proud as punch of our former colleague Amber Jamieson for her first front-page story in the New York Post. Though we never thought we’d see her byline next to the screaming headline “COPS RIGHT”.

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