NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A just-released Audit Bureau of Circulations audit of troubled Tribune Co. daily Newsday revealed circulation overstatements of a much greater magnitude than had previously been admitted.
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For the year ending Sept. 30, 2003, the ABC's findings showed Newsday's reported weekday circulation of 579,599 was overstated by 97,783, and its reported Sunday circulation of 671,820 was overstated by 97,739.
In June, Tribune disclosed that Newsday and Spanish-language daily Hoy significantly overstated circulation is 2003 and 2004. At that time Newsday estimated overstatements for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2003, to be around 40,000 for the daily edition and 60,000 for Sunday. In September, the paper revealed that the overstatements for the six months ended March 31, 2004, were around 60,000 on weekdays and more than 100,000 on Sundays.
Since the news broke, Newsday is facing federal investigations concerning circulation practices and legal action by advertisers. As the latest ABC figures show, Newsday had been claiming daily circulation that was 20.3% greater than what was actually delivered to advertisers, and Sunday circulation of 17% greater.
'Results are consistent'
In a prepared statement, Newsday's publisher-CEO, Timothy P. Knight, said, "We are pleased that this audit has been completed and that the results are consistent with the earlier estimates given to advertisers. We have cooperated fully with ABC in their extensive audits of our 2003 circulation."
Since the scandal came to light, Newsday has replaced its publisher and top editor, and Jack Fuller, president of Tribune's publishing division, said he would retire.