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Does The Star have something to hide about sales?

Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 07:04:38 am

• NST sinks to 98,000 with just 68,000 full rate sales
• Berita, Utusan hold steady with marginal increases
• Metro drops 10,000 but Kosmo up 23,000
• Chinese papers moving up, Guang Ming slides

ABC circulation report 2011

Like This! The Star, which has fallen steadily and is believed to be heading below 270,000 in daily sales, is surprisingly missing from this year’s ABC newspaper circulation audit. No figures were reported for the first half of this year in the ABC report, which covers the period July 2010 to June 2011.

The omission is surprising because the Star has regularly filed its circulation figures in the past. Either it filed its figures too late for audit this time, or the figures were withheld.

Insider’s surprising claim of 10,000 rise for Star

More surprising was the claim by Malaysian Insider last week that the Star’s sales had risen this year, by an extra 10,000 copies a day. The Insider did not state a source for this figure, but extensively quoted Wong Sai Wan, the Star’s executive editor, talking about a newspaper “recovery” and linking this to “election anger” having dissipated.

His remarks seemed to be more of a politically-correct feel-good statement for the current political climate than a rational assessment of the newspaper market.

The Insider’s astonishing claim: no source is given for the figure stated.
But the 2011 ABC report shows a blank for the Star

The Star has been shedding sales since its 310,000 peak five years ago.

Several facelifts of the paper over the years have obviously made no impact on sales. (And after having being prettied up, the paper reverts each time to amateurish and egrerious design frills by editors keen to follow teenage fads.)

Market talk earlier this year had predicted another fall of 10,000 putting the circulation below 270,000 copies a day. The Insider’s claim that the Star had increased sales flies in the face of market expectations.

If Star sales have indeed risen this year against the steady falls of the past, the most likely explanation would be the Star’s circulation-boosting competition to give away a Peugeot sports car and other prizes amounting to RM300,000. But that campaign began only last month, to run until January, and would not have had any impact on the first-half figures.

UP: Kosmo, Sin Chew, China Press, Oriental Daily News
DOWN: Metro, The Star, New Straits Times, Guang Ming
STEADY: Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian

Utusan Malaysia held steady for a second year. Berita Harian dropped 10,000 copies in sales last year but also held steady this year. Both papers picked up about 1,500 copies a day each — that’s a miniscule increase of less than 1% — but the soaring Metro suffered a setback, slipping by 10,000 copies. Kosmo, however, continued rising, picking up 23,000 copies and the Chinese papers stayed up, led by Sin Chew. Its stablemate Guang Ming, however, continues its slow slide.

Downhill for NST

The NST seems headed for oblivion, overtaken by China Press and just barely ahead of Guang Ming because of bulk sales (e.g. to schools, government departments and hotels). Overall sales dropped to 98,920 this year, of which full-rate sales amounted to 67,854 copies. The Guang Ming’s full-rate sales are 20,000 copies more than the NST’s.

That’s how far the mighty have fallen.

Steady rise in newspaper sales since 2009

This chart shows the combined average daily sales of all West Malaysian newspapers from 2005-20011. (It excludes the Star because of that blank 2011 first-half figure.) Clearly, total newspaper sales are being propped up by Metro, Sin Chew, Kosmo and China Press.

Total average daily sales peaked in 2008, dipped after the elections, then started rising again in 2009. By December last year total circulation was just over the 2008 sales level. The chart below shows the combined circulation and sales trend from mid-2005 to December 2010, including the Star.

Total circulation includes figures for the Sun and Malaysian Today, both freesheets. Total sales represents newspapers that are sold, excluding the freesheets.

All charts based on ABC report 2011
Text and graphics by ‘uppercaise’ © 2011. All rights reserved.

  1. Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 07:20:19 am 07:20

    As I said numerous times before and the only way to increase their daily circulation is to bring in Rocky this jobless journalist, if you can call him one, he can perform miracle !

  2. illuminati permalink
    Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 12:49:56 pm 12:49

    Charleskiwi, I second you on that point. Briilliant suggestion.

  3. Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 14:32:58 pm 14:32


  4. Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 14:52:15 pm 14:52

    Is it just me or are NSTs recent ads condescending, elitist and an insult to intelligence? About the only way that rag is the “sharper read” is when you get a paper cut from handling it.

  5. Toffee permalink
    Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 15:11:20 pm 15:11

    No need to read retarded papers.

  6. shah permalink
    Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 16:32:00 pm 16:32

    the star would do anything to be number 1. did you know that the star recently sacked a journalist when he was ill and hospitalised?

  7. mmc permalink
    Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 16:52:16 pm 16:52

    we should buy STAR paper. First 30 pages to be used as wrapper for pooh-pooh.

  8. draken permalink
    Mon 2011-Dec-12 @ +08 17:56:30 pm 17:56

    We are now in a new ball park game as far as newspapers are concerned but then most of the owners and editors are still living in the past and only have vague ideas about the future of newspapers. They may be ‘first’ with the news but their mental setup remains prehistoric, so to speak. They are ill-advised by ‘5-star’ journo wannabes and are beholden to political masters to be able to think freely and wisely. Basically, they are all muddled and befuddled.

  9. stk permalink
    Tue 2011-Dec-13 @ +08 08:26:34 am 08:26

    I used to subscribe Star but not anymore,the paper seems like a prostitute,spewing more of bias news more than ever.Just look at their editors,like Jocelene Tan and Wong Chun Wai ,their piece sometimes make me wanted to puke,sometime to the extent of not even want to browse their star online news even it is free.
    What we want is truthful news not the news like utusan garbage,

  10. Tue 2011-Dec-13 @ +08 09:33:21 am 09:33

    Thanks to Joceline Tan and Baradan Kupusamy lah!

  11. Micheal Vernon permalink
    Tue 2011-Dec-13 @ +08 21:49:00 pm 21:49

    Eighty per cent of Star is advertisements. I begin reading the paper from the back, shifting from the Sports page to World News and then to the business section. First ten pages of political propaganda is best used to wipe one’s backside while the columns by Joceline Tan, Baradan Kuppusamy and Wong Chun Wai is ideal for wrapping dog pooh.

  12. Shannon Teoh permalink
    Wed 2011-Dec-14 @ +08 10:44:34 am 10:44

    Not here to defend or attack anyone, but I was pointed to this article. ABC or Star, I don’t know which, was just slow/late. The current document has the Star’s figures as per the article.


  1. ABC explains missing Star figures in audit report « uppercaise

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