Online Update

Newspaper readership dropped slightly as online makes further gains
The JNRS report on readership for Ireland's national press titles and consumer magazines shows a slight decrease on previous years. In 2007, 88.4 per cent of all adults read a daily newspaper, while last year the figure had dropped to 86.5 per cent. An analysis by Initiative showed that more titles saw a decrease in their figures that those that did not.

“Worst hit in the daily broadsheets was the Irish Examiner,” the agency's Laura Rickard said. Its readership dropped from 267,000 in 2007, to 202,000, a decline of 24.3 per cent. The Irish Independent was also badly hit, down from 570,000 to 520,000. Other dailies to experience a fall off in readers were The Irish Times (-2.5%) and the Irish Sun (-2.6%).

Rickard said that on the flip side, 2008 proved a good year for the Irish Daily Mail, up from 117,000 in 2007 to 139,000 last year, a growth of 18.8 per cent. The Irish Daily Star also did well, up by 9.3 per cent to 482,000, with 7.6 per cent of the growth among 15-34s and the tabloid continues to be the favourite daily newspaper among this group.

The Irish Daily Star Sunday was one of the few Sunday newspapers to report an increase. Its readership climbed by 16.3 per cent to 207,000. The Irish Mail on Sunday was also up on the previous year, up by 6.3 per cent to 268,000. The Sunday Tribune suffered the biggest blow in 2008 by reporting a 30.3 per cent year-on-year lose of 66,000 readers to 152,000. Readership of the Sunday Mirror was down by 15.4 per cent to 137,000.

The Sunday Times saw a drop of 7.2 per cent (26,000) to 337,000, while the Sunday World (-3%), Sunday Business Post (-2.5%) and the Irish News of the World (-0.3%) all reported readership falls year-on-year. Among the consumer magazines, Hot Press had a 29.6 per cent rise in readership, up from 27,000 readers in 2007 to 35,000 last year.

The RTE Guide and Image each reported drops in readership. The TV listings and entertainment weekly was down by 16.7 per cent, or 57,000 readers, to 285,000. The women's fashion monthly took a hit of 30.8 per cent and dropped to 72,000 readers.

The data shows that 25-44 year olds are reading less broadsheets but more tabloids. The trend of switching to online media for news and features is a growing trend across the press market. Most of the drop in readership is due to fewer people reading newspapers at weekends. In particular, the data showed a major fall in Saturday magazine readership.



Gavin O'Reilly is to become chief executive of Independent News & Media (INM) when his father, Sir Anthony O'Reilly, retires in May, at the age of 73. Three business allies of Denis O'Brien – namely Leslie Buckley, Lucy Gaffney and Paul Connolly – have been co-opted to the board. The appointments reflect O'Brien's 26 per cent stake.

National Lottery-An Post media moves to Starcom
The combined media buying and planning for the National Lottery and An Post has been awarded to Starcom after a final three-way contest with incumbents Carat and Mindshare. The lottery account was valued at €7 million last year and An Post is worth about €3m. WPP agencies DDFH&B-JWT and Brand Union have been retained by the National Lottery. DDFH&B-JWT created the Mr Green (voiced by Neil Delamere), Mr Blue (Morgan Jones) and Mr Purple (Paddy Courtney) puppets, along with Brown Bag Films.

Six agencies in all pitched for the creative work – Cawley Nea\TBWA, Irish International BBDO, McConnells, Ogilvy & Mather and Publicis QMP. On the branding side, Brand Union competed with Huguenot and the London-based agency, Interbrand.

Elsewhere in adland, Young Euro RSCG has won the Premier Foods account after a three-way pitch with DDFH&B-JWT and Rothco. The account had been shared between Youngs and Irish International BBDO, but the latter agency did not repitch as its work for Glanbia's Avonmore soups conflicted with Premier's Erin and Baxters brands.

Three groups in line for Johnston Press
The final battle to win ownership of the Johnston Press regional titles in Ireland is down to three contenders. One consortia is headed by Richard Findlay, former owner of Scottish Radio Holdings media in Ireland, which included Radio Ireland/Today FM.

John McStay, ex-Limerick Leader and Joe Hayes, ex-Kilkenny People, are involved in the other two consortia. The sale of Johnston Press's Irish titles will earn €40 million for the UK media group which has debts of

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