NY ‘Daily News’ Swipes at Rival Ahead of Semi-Annual ABC Report

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By: Jennifer Saba

You can always gauge when the Audit Bureau of Circulations is about to release its semi-annual circulation report — at least here in New York when the city’s tabloids start catfights over the data.

This morning comes word, brought to you by the Daily News, that the New York Post “hypes” its circulation. The accusation is based on the New York Post’s most recent audit report from ABC for the 12-month period ending September 2005.

The Daily News said there are discrepancies in the Post’s publisher’s statements — un-audited accounts filed twice a year — and its audit report. The audit report stated roughly 6,000 weekday copies less than what was accounted for on the publisher’s statements, amounting to about 1% of the Post’s total weekday circulation.

ABC Vice President of Corporate Communications Neal Lulofs said reductions were made to the audit report but declined to discuss specifics.

He did say that ABC is not going to take action against the Post. “It’s not uncommon for larger papers like this to have [discrepancies] in the audit report,” he said.

Indeed, buried way down at the bottom of the Daily News’ article, the paper copped to having its own downward adjustments on its audit report for the 12-month period ending 2005 by 2,314 copies.

Three times a year, ABC publishes variance reports that details the differences found when comparing publisher’s statements to the audit report. Any paper that shows a discrepancy of 2% or more between the top line number in the audit report and the publisher’s statements, would fall on this list. If there is a difference of 5% or more, ABC can take action and censure the newspapers.

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