ABC Mixer: Online Meets Circ Data

By: Jennifer Saba

It may have taken a few years, but the Audit Bureau of Circulations is finally moving in the direction of reporting total audience figures for newspapers. During a March board meeting, ABC directors said they are starting work on integrating online audience estimates in the semi-annual reports as well as the FAS-FAX, using the Newspaper Association of America, Scarborough, and other third-party data.

“This is a win-win for advertisers and publishers,” says ABC President Michael Lavery. “More information leads to better decisions.” The board is expected to pass the optional reporting at its next meeting in July, meaning it could affect newspapers as soon as the September 2007 reporting period.

Details are still scarce, but Lavery explained the new audience information will be appended to publishers’ statements and audit reports. The organization is also building an online database for members. The new method of reporting will not carry an additional fee, Lavery adds.

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