Cash Penalty Added to Circ Rules

By: Jennifer Saba

As part of its rule tightening, the Audit Bureau of Circulations has added a new rule that gives the board the option of levying a monetary penalty against any newspaper caught falsifying circulation numbers in the future.

ABC said that the Chicago Sun-Times, Newsday of Melville, N.Y., and Hoy — the papers censured this week by ABC — were not fined. John Payne, senior vice president of communications, said the payments were added as a way to deter companies from inflating their circ numbers.

The cash fine will be determined on a case-by-case basis, including the amount imposed. Also to be determined is where the money will go once collected.

ABC spokesperson Martha Dittmar said that it’s still unclear if ABC would hire more auditors. However, auditor’s hours are likely to increase. As of now, the organization has 150 auditors.

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