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ABC agrees to amend newspaper reporting standards

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Schaumburg, Ill.—The Audit Bureau of Circulations on Tuesday endorsed a sweeping set of recommendations for U.S. newspapers designed to provide marketers with more useful information, streamline ABC rules and audits, and modify key circulation standards.

Under the changes, ABC has agreed to revise the definition of paid circulation so that it represents payment by an individual reader or specialized channels and continues to be reported separately on ABC Publisher's Statements and Audit Reports.

ABC has also agreed to adopt a paid/verified reporting model where "other paid circulation," or copies purchased by, for example, schools or newspaper employees will be reported as "verified" circulation; implement a flexible pricing model in which newspapers will be considered "paid" by ABC regardless of the price for which a newspaper copy is sold; and create a separate "paid" category for newspapers copies that are distributed at hotels and subscriptions purchased by businesses for a group of employees.

"The actions agreed to by the ABC board are the culmination of widespread input from a broad range of newspaper publishers and advertisers working in collaboration to address the transformational nature of the market today," said Scott Heekin-Canedy, president and general manager of The New York Times, in a statement.

—Matthew Schwartz

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