Monday, May 7, 2012

New Statesman Declining into Irrelevance

A few years ago the New Statesman withdrew from having circulation for the print edition independently audited by the industry’s Audit Bureau of Circulation. This caused a lot of raised eyebrows in the trade. Guido has managed to get his hands on the newsstand sales figures for the two years up until March this year. The numbers are dire.

The data above says it all, the sales decline has continued, some weeks the New Statesman sells less than 4,000 copies. By way of comparison Guido’s blog usually has 4,000 readers a day before the Today show has a finished in the morning. This figure does not include subscribers, Guido suspects that may not even number into five figures.

Online nothing has changed since 2009, Guido still has comfortably more online readers than the Staggers. Incidentally tracking data suggests that a fair number of Staggers readers are Guido readers, this site is the ninth most visited site by Staggers readers – despite the magazine’s policy of not linking to this site.

The relative decline of the Staggers versus the Speccie suggests that it is not just because the printed magazine business is in trouble. The Speccie has a paywall yet still has more online visitors than the Staggers, the Speccie sells an online edition, the Statesman does not.

The problems at the magazine are manifold, readers are increasingly unwilling to pay for comment unless it done with panache, yet they got rid of the flamboyant Dan Hodges. There is a distinct lack of news in the magazine, Labour HQ has just experienced a near mutiny, something that would be of great interest to the natural readership of the Staggers and would in the past have been covered in forensic detail. Nothing appeared in the magazine. The only “news” in the magazine that you have not read elsewhere is usually found in Kevin Maguire’s gossip diary.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


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Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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