Former 'Newsday' Exec Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Robert Brennan Was VP-Circulation During Period of Inflated Circ Figures

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- A former Newsday executive has reportedly pleaded guilty to charges related to the circulation scandal at the paper, making him the first official to officially take legal blame for the imbroglio.

Related Stories:
Magazine Circulation-Fraud Case Enters Plea Negotiations
Accused Consultant at 'Laptop' Also Worked for Other Titles
Feds Charge Two Publishing Execs With Circulation Fraud
Sting Operation Snares 'Laptop' Publisher and Circulation Director
BPA Offers to Certify Subscription Agents
In Wake of Scandals, Audit Bureau Competitor Will Verify Third-Party Sources
'Minneapolis Star-Tribune' Settles Advertiser Lawsuit
Agrees To Pay $55,000 To Plaintiffs That Accused Paper of Inflating Circulation
Meredith Reveals Circulation Problems at Acquired Titles
Says Any Pre-Purchase Magazine Liabilities Are Gruner & Jahr's Problem
MPA Chairman: Clean Up Circulation Practices Now
Speech Delivered as Scandal Spreads
Time Inc. Circulation Records Subpoenaed
150 Clients and Advertisers Notified of Federal Investigation
Circulation Scandal Engulfs More Magazines
Millions of 'Paid' Copies Disqualified; Media Buyers Angry

The executive, Robert Brennan, was VP-circulation until Newsday, part of the Tribune Co., fired him in June 2004, as the paper investigated inflated figures going back to 2002.

Bevy of circulation scandals
Advertisers have been unnerved by a bevy of circulation scandals over the past few years, not just at Newsday but also at magazine publisher Gruner & Jahr USA, which has since sold its titles and closed shop. Last July, the office of U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf slapped Time Inc. with a subpoena seeking information about its circulation practices; the company continues to say only that it is cooperating fully.

In another case, on March 3 a judge agreed to allow prosecutors to continue plea negotiations with an executive accused of trying to inflate circulation numbers at Laptop magazine.

Secret guilty plea
Mr. Brennan secretly pleaded guilty to mail fraud and income tax-evasion a few weeks ago at the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, according to an article in Newsday, which said the plea came as part of an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors. The tax-evasion charge stemmed from a $30,000 check he received from a subcontractor in 2003 without his bosses' authorization, the article said.

His attorney, Edward McDonald, did not return a call seeking comment. Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Ms. Mauskopf, declined to comment.

In a statement, Newsday spokeswoman Deidra Parrish Williams said Tribune and the paper "fully cooperated" with the authorities' investigation and will continue to do so. "Newsday is focused on serving its readers and advertisers in the best way it can going forward."

Most Popular
In this article: