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Evening Standard falls amid talk about Wadley's job

LONDON - Speculation that Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadley's job is under threat was heightened today with the revelation that the newspaper's circulation has fallen 4.79% as the latest ABCs are published.

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Reports suggest that Lord Rothermere, proprietor of Evening Standard publisher Associated Newspaper, has held talks with Observer editor Roger Alton about the post, as the paper's circulation fell to 418,045 from 439,098 last month.

In the national daily tabloid sector, the new upmarket Daily Mirror was the only UK title to increase its circulation after it beat rivals The Daily Mail and The Sun to the Paul Burrell interview, following his trial over items he held that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Daily Mirror added 2.53% to its circulation, bringing its average circulation for November to 2,148,058. This did not stop shareholders in parent Trinity Mirror calling for it to be sold off. The Sun fell 1.97% to 3,541,198 and mid-market rival The Daily Mail lost 0.68% to record a circulation of 2,420,301.

From Richard Desmond's stable, The Express was down just 0.18% to 988,136, however, this is a dramatic increase of 8.89% on November 2001's figure of 859,366. Its tabloid sister title The Daily Star fell 1.72% to 736,186.

Among the daily broadsheets, there was very little movement as figures settled down after October's price rises.

The Daily Telegraph fell 0.76% to 972,596; the Financial Times dipped 0.02% to 451,790; and The Guardian was down 0.04% to 404,801. The Times was up 0.13% to 688,480 and The Independent was down 0.1% to 221,597.

Among the Sunday tabloids, The People was showing signs of being hit by the launch of Desmond's Daily Star on Sunday. The People fell 2.64% to 1,170,528, as the Star on Sunday also dropped, falling 4.19% to dip under the half-million mark to 499,912. The News of the World fell 0.63% to 3,979,216, while the Sunday Mirror rose 0.24% to 1,701,469.

In the broadsheet market, The Sunday Times began to reap the benefits of its redesign with extra sections and a revamped glossy Style magazine, rising 3.15% to 1,442,519 despite increasing its price to £1.40.

Its nearest competitor the Sunday Telegraph fell 1.3% to 781,416, while the Independent on Sunday nose-dived 4.04% to 219,095.

The Observer under Alton rose again, moving up 0.13% to 489,353 as the ongoing efforts to increase its offering pays off.

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