ABC expected to loosen paid-circ requirements for weekly newspapers

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Arlington Heights, Ill.—The board of the Audit Bureau of Circulations has agreed to broaden its standards for newspaper members. If the proposal is approved in March, weekly newspapers would need just 50% of their distribution to qualify as paid circulation to be an ABC member. Currently, the minimum is 70%.

“Newspapers overwhelmingly support these moves because they better reflect the realities of today's multiplatform environment, where publishers are providing rich content across an array of print and digital products,” Merle Davidson, director of media services at J.C. Penney Co. and chairman of the ABC board, said in a statement.

ABC said a September advisory note indicated that 96% of ABC newspapers favored this step for weekly newspapers. For daily newspapers the minimum paid circulation requirement will remain at 70%.

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