Except for Harian Metro, the other newspapers in the stable have been doing badly, according to latest figures approved by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (the latest audit is for June-Dec 2005, approved on 15 June 2006 for the ad agencies).
Berita Harian lost its lead to Utusan Malaysia.
Malay Mail went back to pre-2002 levels (this was before the re-launch of the tabloid in May this year).
The flagship newspaper did 138,896 copies.
Bad enough but worse if you consider that this was made possible by selling papers at half price to primary schools, hotels, and Malaysia Airlines (50 per cent** is the maximum discount allowed by the ABC for a sale to be included in its audit).
Minus the half-priced copies, the NST was doing just 103,369 copies.
The STAR sold 309,029 copies during the same period. And minus the half-priced*** copies, it did 280,891 copies.
* The NST's annual average for 2005 should be about 139,000 copies. Shareholders at the recent NSTP AGM will remember the CEO saying that the NST's circulation since going "Compact" was "around 145,000 copies".
** 1 in every 4 copies of NST is sold at half the cover price of RM1.20.
*** 1 in every 10 copies The STAR is sold at half the cover price, which is also RM1.20.
Notes: BH has lost its leadership in July 05 to Dec 05. UM regained the position.
Harian Metro is the best Bahasa paper. As for English dailies, NST declined from 139,517 to 138,896 with 35K from schools & sponsorship. MM slipped back to its original sales in 02/03 at 35K.
Source: ABC latest update to agencies dated 15/6/06