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Newspapers News South Africa

Newspapers ABC Q1 2023: A quiet, stable quarter

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa has released its Quarter 1, 2023 circulation figures for newspapers revealing a stable three month period.
Image: Bizcommunity The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa has release its Q1, 2023 circulation figures for newspapers
Image: Bizcommunity The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) of South Africa has release its Q1, 2023 circulation figures for newspapers

While decreases on the previous quarter remain incremental, each category has some newspapers with increases on the previous quarter. In general, it was a quiet quarter. Load shedding as well as the continued pressure that consumers are under is still evident in the quarter’s figures.

Daily newspapers

This shrinking category had only four dailies with a positive increase on the previous quarter – Business Day, Die Daily Burger, Daily Beeld, and The Herald. But despite this, the decreases on the previous quarter continue to be marginal for most of the dailies. A few, such as Daily News Isolezwe and Daily Sun had bigger losses. Daily Sun is the biggest loser in this category with double-digit losses on the previous quarter.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Star, TheMD, Mo-Fr13,16012,43625,596-6.1%-8.5%
Citizen, The (Daily)MD, Mo-Fr15,0119,42024,431-0.1%-6.0%
Cape ArgusMD, Mo-Fr6,3474,00310,350-1.0%-4.5%
Cape TimesMD, Mo-Fr7,0943,82710,921-3.4%-7.7%
Mercury, TheMD, Mo-Fr7,3273,28310,610-3.5%-9.5%
Daily NewsMD, Mo-Fr5,1663,1178,283-7.1%-14.9%
Business DayMD, Mo-Fr12,7841,74614,5300.8%-9.2%
Burger, Die DailyMD, Mo-Fr26,78766927,4561.9%-5.7%
Beeld, DailyMD, Mo-Fr20,43160221,0333.5%-2.6%
Herald, TheMD, Mo-Fr10,47447510,9495.5%-4.6%
Daily DispatchMD, Mo-Fr10,55121610,767-1.1%-0.5%
Daily SunMo-Fr23,23718223,419-16.4%-33.3%
Witness, TheMD, Mo-Fr6,0721086,180-3.5%-14.0%
Son (Daily)MD, Mo-Fr15,3515315,404-3.8%-22.7%
IsolezweMD, Mo-Fr24,9262324,949-7.6%-21.0%
BukeddeMD, Mo-Sat19,83719,837-5.6%-19.0%
Daily NationMD, Mo-Sat63,12663,126-0.1%-13.4%
New VisionMD, Mo-Fr16,62616,626-3.0%-11.0%
Pretoria NewsMD, Mo-FrResigned
Times of SwazilandMD, Mo-Fr13,29613,296-3.8%-16.3%

Weekly newspapers

The Weekly category proves that smaller is not always bad, with incremental decreases on the previous quarter for half of the category. Daily Maverick was the best in the category (for the South African-based weeklies) both on the previous quarter and prior year. The biggest percentage decrease on the previous quarter came from Mail & Guardian.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Soccer LadumaWkly, Wed63,10363,103-4.8%-17.9%
Ilanga2xW, Mo&Th31,25931,259-6.2%-18.7%
Post, TheWkly, Wed14,2503,55217,802-4.6%-8.1%
Daily Maverick,Wkly, Sat8,7581,2109,96811.6%19.0%
Mail & GuardianWkly, Fr7,62567,631-10.3%-17.5%
Lesotho TimesWkly, Th7,2662697,53517.6%7.9%
Voice, TheWkly, Fr7,0117,011-1.6%-18.0%
Diamond Fields Advertiser.Wkly, FrResigned

Weekend newspapers

Things always look better on the weekend, and this is definitely the case for the Weekend newspapers category. Most losses on the previous quarter were incremental, with only two weekend newspapers, Sunday Times and Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo in double digits.

And there were some good increases on the previous quarter as well. With Sunday Vision top of the category with an over 12% increase. Six other weekend newspapers also had increases on the previous quarter.

Unfortunately, all the weekenders had losses on the prior year.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Sunday TimesWknd76,05015,97192,021-15.6%-20.9%
Sunday NationWkly, Sun65,83065,830-2.9%-19.2%
Burger, Die SaturdayWkly, Sat36,74466137,4051.2%-6.1%
Beeld, SaturdayWkly, Sat25,80121926,0201.6%-3.7%
Isolezwe ngoMgqibeloWkly, Sat19,257219,259-13.3%-19.8%
Sunday WorldWknd18,7953,50522,300-5.9%-21.3%
City PressWknd16,19530816,5031.3%-21.5%
Isolezwe ngeSontoWkly, Sun15,764315,767-6.0%-20.4%
Ilanga LangesontoWknd14,78614,786-5.0%-18.3%
Sunday TribuneWkly, Sun14,6753,95718,632-4.0%-12.4%
Sunday VisionWkly, Sun12,39112,39112.6%-1.3%
Citizen, The (Saturday)Wkly, Sat9,40619,407-0.2%-11.6%
Independent on SaturdayWkly, Sat8,8563,73512,591-3.6%-11.2%
Weekend PostWknd8,2024158,6176.8%-8.4%
Daily Dispatch Weekend Edition (formerly Saturday Dispatch)Wknd8,0411278,168-4.2%-11.1%
Weekend ArgusWknd7,8364,40912,245-1.6%-7.4%
Weekend WitnessWkly, Sat5,2881065,394-5.5%-15.0%
Saturday Star, TheWkly, Sat4,5813,6828,2630.7%-6.2%
Pretoria News SaturdayWkly, SatResigned

Local newspapers

It was a mixed bag for local newspapers with eight newspapers increasing over the previous quarter. Increases ranged from 0.1% to 14.1%. The number of local newspapers that showed decreases on the previous quarter outnumbered the positive increases. These decreases ranged from -0.4% to -13.8%. There were six changed sectors, one termination and one rebrand.

PublicationFrequencyPaid circulationFree circulationTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
Witbank News, FriWkly, Fr19,58019,580-0.4%17.8%
Middelburg Observer, FriWkly, Fr17,14817,1481.6%15.9%
African ReporterWkly, Fr13,66513,6657.3%-6.1%
George Herald (Thursday)Wkly, Th8,9878,987-3.4%-15.4%
Mpumalanga NewsWkly, Wed7,7557,7558.2%6.5%
Paarl PostWkly, Th6,575376,612-4.4%-6.3%
Worcester StandardWkly, Th5,110405,150-8.4%-3.9%
Weslander, TheWkly, Th4,8672115,078-5.5%-11.0%
Zululand Observer Weekend (Formerly Friday)Wkly, Fr4,7644905,254-2.0%-18.4%
Limpopo MirrorWkly, Fr4,3114,311-7.4%-4.9%
Mosselbay AdvertiserWkly, Fr4,0864,086-4.8%-14.1%
VaalweekbladWkly, Th2,8942,894-6.8%-16.5%
Zululand Observer MondayWkly, Mon2,4263402,7660.1%-24.9%
Daller, DieWkly, Fr1,7941,7941.3%8.1%
South Cape Forum/Suid Kaap ForumWkly, Th1,6841,6840.4%-18.8%
Talk of the TownWkly, Fr1,1771,177-13.8%-23.1%
Knysna Plett HeraldWkly, Th1,1651,165-0.6%-9.1%
Bosvelder ReviewWkly, Fr1,0481,048-10.8%-16.2%
StreeknuusWkly, Fr994994-1.2%-22.3%
Oudtshoorn CourantWkly, Fr8608603.0%-16.4%
Graaff Reinet AdvertiserWkly, Th84884814.1%-6.5%
The CourierWkly, FrTerminated
District MailWkly, ThRebranded
Estcourt and Midlands NewsWkly, FrChanged Sector
Ladysmith GazetteWkly, FrChanged Sector
Newcastle and District AdvertiserWkly, FrChanged Sector
Northern Natal CourierWkly, FrChanged Sector
Northern Review WeekendWkly, FrChanged Sector
Vryheid HeraldWkly, FrChanged Sector

Free newspapers

Not much is for free these days, but free newspapers are exactly that. Proving that everyone likes something for free, this category had some small increases on the previous quarter, with Soweto Urban News a highlight with 9.1%. There were no double-figure increases.

But similarly, there were no double-digit decreases, and decreases on the previous quarter ranged from zero to -2.4%, with most decreases under one percent. There were three terminations, one resignation, one rebrand, and one discontinued.

PublicationFrequencyTotal circulation% change quarter% change year
PE ExpressWkly, Wed119,9950.0%0.0%
Soweto Urban NewsWkly, Th109,0999.1%0.0%
Sedibeng SterWkly, Th90,9800.0%0.0%
PlainsmanWkly, Wed89,5360.0%0.0%
Rekord East/OosWkly, Tue78,7630.0%-0.3%
VukaniWkly, Wed78,0560.0%0.0%
Mthatha ExpressWkly, Wed69,9950.0%0.0%
TabletalkWkly, Wed67,8440.0%0.0%
Merebank & Chatsworth TabloidWkly, Wed64,9800.0%23.8%
North Coast Rising SunWkly, Wed64,8600.0%0.0%
Randburg SunWkly, Th60,1880.4%0.6%
Rekord CenturionWkly, Wed59,859-0.1%-0.6%
Phoenix TabloidWkly, Tue55,9800.0%0.0%
Athlone NewsWkly, Wed54,1510.0%0.0%
Kathorus MailF54,0230.0%0.1%
Highway MailWkly, Fr53,764-0.2%-0.5%
Chatsworth Rising SunWkly, Tue53,0500.0%0.0%
The Springfield Weekly GazetteWkly, Th52,4800.0%0.0%
City Vision (Khayalitsha)Wkly, Th50,5870.0%0.0%
Sandton ChronicleWkly, Wed50,1670.9%0.2%
People s Post Mitchells PlainWkly, Tue50,0000.0%0.0%
Kempton ExpressWkly, Th48,896-0.2%0.4%
Southern MailWkly, Wed48,8530.0%0.0%
Southern Suburbs TatlerWkly, Wed47,2380.0%0.0%
Roodepoort RecordWkly, Th46,6840.0%0.1%
Bloemfontein Courant (formerly Krant)Wkly, Th44,8890.0%0.0%
Overport Rising SunWkly, Th44,8500.0%0.0%
Bedfordview & Edenvale NewsWkly, Wed44,801-0.3%2.3%
Boksburg AdvertiserWkly, Tue43,1230.2%-0.6%
BloemnuusWkly, Th41,697-0.8%0.0%
Ster, SouthWkly, Tue41,4600.0%0.0%
Rosebank Killarney GazetteWkly, Tue41,1040.5%0.3%
Ethekwini TimesWkly, Fr40,9800.0%0.0%
Umlazi TimesWkly, Th40,9800.0%0.0%
Diamond Fields AdvertiserWkly, Fr40,0000.0%
Rekord North/NoordWkly, Th39,929-0.1%-0.2%
Benoni City TimesWkly, Th38,001-0.2%-0.5%
Alberton RecordWkly, Wed37,6680.3%0.4%
Go & ExpressWkly, Th37,2780.0%-0.3%
Helderberg Gazette & District MailWkly, Wed36,996-0.4%16.3%
Fourways ReviewWkly, Wed36,8390.1%0.1%
VistaWkly, Th35,2480.0%0.1%
Noordkaap BulletinWkly, Th35,240-0.2%2.5%
Maritzburg EchoWkly, Th34,9800.0%0.2%
Tongaat & Verulam Tabloid (former Northern Star)Wkly, Tue34,9800.0%0.0%
Msunduzi Eyethu (former Edendale)Wkly, Th34,9480.0%0.0%
South Coast FeverWkly, Th34,800-0.2%-0.4%
Ridge TimesWkly, Tue34,4000.0%0.0%
ExpressWkly, Wed34,0590.0%0.1%
Rekord MootWkly, Th33,5600.1%0.0%
Ster, NorthWkly, Tue32,7600.0%0.0%
IDISKI TIMESWkly, Tue31,687-0.1%
Constantiaberg BulletinWkly, Wed31,3160.0%0.0%
False Bay EchoWkly, Wed30,8790.0%0.0%
Atlantic SunWkly, Wed30,7940.0%0.0%
Northcliff & Melville TimesWkly, Tue30,7670.5%1.0%
BolanderWkly, Wed30,4610.0%0.0%
Eyethu Bay Watch (Formerly Baywatch)Wkly, Wed30,3440.9%0.9%
Tygerburger Table ViewWkly, Wed30,0650.0%-4.6%
UD ExpressWkly, Wed29,9950.0%0.0%
Dolphin Coast MailWkly, Wed29,9600.0%0.1%
East Coast MailWkly, Wed29,9600.0%0.1%
Maritzburg SunWkly, Wed29,9560.0%0.0%
Public EyeWkly, Th29,9520.0%0.0%
Rekord MamelodiWkly, Fr29,9470.8%0.0%
Coastal WeeklyWkly, Th29,9450.0%-0.1%
Rising Sun LenasiaWkly, Wed29,9250.0%0.0%
Issue MangaungWkly, Wed29,9000.0%0.1%
North Coast CourierWkly, Wed29,8820.0%0.2%
Umlazi EyethuWkly, Fr29,8810.0%0.0%
Germiston City NewsWkly, Tue29,753-0.1%-1.1%
Polokwane Observer.Wkly, Th29,7382.9%-0.1%
City Vision (Langa/Gugulethu)Wkly, Th29,4130.0%-9.5%
Rekord NowetoF28,9500.0%0.0%
Stanger WeeklyWkly, Wed28,867-0.5%-1.4%
Midrand ReporterWkly, Th28,150-0.1%0.1%
People s Post Athlone & LandsdowneWkly, Tue28,0000.0%0.0%
Northglen NewsWkly, Fr27,350-0.1%-0.4%
Berea MailWkly, Fr27,040-0.1%-0.4%
Roodepoort Northsider (FormerlyNorthside ChronicleWkly, Th26,7680.3%0.4%
Krugersdorp NewsWkly, Wed26,4520.4%0.4%
Springs AdvertiserWkly, Th25,804-0.5%-1.0%
Southern CourierWkly, Tue25,208-0.6%-0.9%
Tygerburger Eersterivier/Blue DownsWkly, Wed25,057-0.1%-8.4%
People s Post Woodstock & CityWkly, Tue25,0000.0%0.0%
People s Post Grassy Park & RetreatWkly, Tue25,0000.0%0.0%
Eikestadnuus.Wkly, Th23,831-0.6%-0.1%
Intshonalanga EyethuWkly, Fr23,7800.0%0.0%
People s Post False BayWkly, Tue22,0000.0%0.0%
Issue, Eastern Free StateWkly, Th21,9000.0%0.0%
Xpress TimesWkly, Wed21,750-1.0%-1.0%
Comaro ChronicleWkly, Wed20,9840.6%1.2%
Hermanus Times.Wkly, Wed20,692-0.5%0.1%
Tygerburger DurbanvilleWkly, Wed20,3200.1%-3.1%
Rekord West News/Wes NuusF20,2000.0%0.1%
Isolezwe IesiXhosaWkly, Th20,0000.0%
People s Post Claremont/RondeboschWkly, Tue20,0000.0%0.0%
People s Post Constantia/WynbergWkly, Tue20,0000.0%0.0%
Kouga ExpressWkly, Th19,9950.0%0.0%
Umgungundlovu Eyethu (former Umngeni)F19,9600.0%0.0%
Bonus ReviewWkly, Wed19,883-0.1%0.2%
Merebank Rising SunWkly, Tue19,8500.0%0.0%
Mid South Coast Rising SunWkly, Tue19,8500.0%0.0%
UGU EyethuWkly, Wed19,850-0.3%0.0%
South Coast SunWkly, Fr19,780-0.2%-0.2%
RepresentativeWkly, Mon19,687-0.1%-27.1%
Heidelberg/Nigel HerautWkly, Wed19,6360.2%0.2%
Brakpan HeraldWkly, Fr19,3521.4%-0.1%
Tygerburger BellvilleWkly, Wed19,282-0.1%-0.1%
Swartland Gazette (formerly Swartland Monitor).Wkly, Tue19,246-0.7%0.0%
Tygerburger KuilsrivierWkly, Wed19,066-0.1%-1.5%
Rekord Central/SentraalF18,5000.0%0.0%
Tygerburger BrackenfellWkly, Wed18,3200.3%-6.1%
Randfontein / Westonaria Herald.Wkly, Tue18,1900.6%0.6%
TygerBurger De GrendelWkly, Wed18,080-0.3%-2.9%
SteelburgerWkly, Th17,7000.0%0.0%
Southlands SunWkly, Fr17,664-0.3%-0.1%
TygerBurger Tyger ValleyWkly, Wed17,0950.1%-2.1%
Tygerburger KraaifonteinWkly, Wed17,078-0.1%-8.8%
Tygerburger MilnertonWkly, Wed17,0550.0%-5.7%
Potchefstroom Herald.Wkly, Fr16,9380.0%0.0%
Tygerburger Elsiesrivier & RavensmeadWkly, Wed16,045-0.1%0.0%
Northern EyethuMtly15,8770.1%0.1%
Weskus NuusF14,9950.0%0.1%
Alex NewsF14,7900.0%0.0%
Tygerburger ParowWkly, Wed14,066-0.1%-2.3%
Tygerburger GoodwoodWkly, Wed14,060-0.1%-0.4%
Queensburgh NewsF12,853-0.6%-0.8%
HerrieWkly, Th12,7881.6%4.1%
Vrystaat KroonF12,3920.3%2.1%
Breederivier Gazette.Wkly, Wed12,134-2.4%-0.8%
Village TalkWkly, Wed11,9460.0%0.0%
Zululand Eyethu (formerly Eshowe Watch)Mtly11,9310.7%0.7%
Carletonville Herald.Wkly, Fr11,9100.0%-0.5%
Highvelder, TheWkly, Fr11,7600.0%0.0%
Daily Sun On the GO - ECWkly, Th10,9950.0%0.0%
City Vision (Lwandle / Nomzamo) former Kasi Vision HelderbergWkly, Th10,0000.0%0.0%
Greytown GazetteWkly, Mon9,9800.0%0.8%
Hazyview HeraldF9,7950.0%0.0%
Uthukela EyethuWkly, Th9,7160.5%-2.6%
Corridor GazetteF9,7100.0%0.0%
Daily Sun On the GO - FSWkly, Th7,9950.0%0.0%
YstervarkWkly, Th7,9250.0%0.0%
Parys GazetteWkly, Fr7,4800.0%0.0%
Sentinel NewsWkly, Wed7,1450.0%0.0%
Daily Sun On the GO - KZNWkly, Th5,9950.0%0.0%
Capricorn Voice ..Q5,8812.8%0.0%
Daily Sun On the GO - WCWkly, Th4,9950.0%0.0%
The HiltonMtly4,9600.0%0.0%
Free State SunWkly, Th4,9373.9%3.9%
Northern Review WeekendWkly, Fr4,8502.3%
Standerton Advertiser.Wkly, Tue4,7500.0%0.0%
Maluti NewsWkly, Fr2,4950.0%0.0%
Eastern Cape Rising SunWkly, TueTerminated
Maseru MetroWkly, ThTerminated
The Olifants NewsFTerminated
Inner City GazetteWkly, ThResigned
Southern StarWkly, FrRebranded
Komani Karoo ExpressMtlyDiscontinued

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.
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