Founded in 1880, and for many years known as the Evening Argus, the newspaper is owned by Newsquest (since 1999, part of the US Gannett media group) which in 1996 bought the Argus and its sister Westminster Press titles from the provincial papers group’s parent, the Pearson Group. The Argus reached a peak circulation of 100,000 in the early 1980s but, like most of its counterparts in the British regional press, has since experienced a considerable decline in sales. In the period December 2010 to June 2011, the paper had an average daily circulation of 24,949 but by the period January to June 2013, average daily sales had dropped to 16,622. For the period July to December 2017 average daily circulation had fallen to 10,581.
In October 2012, the Argus’s cover price was increased by 45% to 65p on weekdays and 85p on Saturday, taking readership to an all-time low, but attempting to make more money because of the increased cover price.