|Owner||Independent News and Media|
|Political alignment||Conservative, moderate unionist|
|Headquarters||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
It was first published as the Belfast Evening Telegraph on 1 September 1870 by brothers William and George Baird. Its first edition cost half a penny and ran to four pages covering the Franco-Prussian war and local news.
Unlike its London-based stablemate The Independent, the Belfast Telegraph is conservative in outlook. In the context of Northern Irish politics, the Belfast Telegraph attempts to attract readers from across the community, though it is decidedly moderate unionist in outlook.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the paper had an average daily circulation of 94,540 between June 2004 and January 2005. Sales are now falling steadily year on year, the latest average sales figure for the first six months of 2009 showing a large drop of 10.5% year on year to 68,024.
|Circulation & readership of|
|Dates||January 2008 – June 2008|
|Source||Audit Bureau of Circulations|
The Belfast Telegraph was entirely broadsheet until 19 February 2005, when the Saturday morning edition was introduced and all Saturday editions were converted to compact. The weekday morning "Compact Edition", launched on 22 March 2005, has struggled to replicate the evening newspaper's success. Its editorial content is much more tabloid, with a greater entertainment story count than the evening paper. The evening edition of the newspaper was originally called the "Sixth Late", and "Sixth Late Tele" was a familiar cry made by vendors in Belfast City Centre in the past.
The evening editions were converted to Compact from 25 March 2009.
The Belfast Telegraph is the primary title of the Belfast Telegraph Group, responsible for printing:
The Belfast Telegraph ceased to print the Ireland's Saturday Night sports evening newspaper in July 2008.