This Time, ‘Hoy’ Levels With Readers

By: Mark Fitzgerald

When Hoy was censured last week for circulation fraud by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the Tribune Co.-owned Spanish-language tabloid covered the highly unusual punishment as if it were a boring technical adjustment of the books.

Under the headline, “Newsday and Hoy will be audited twice a year,” an unbylined article said that the two Tribune papers plus Hollinger’s Chicago Sun-Times would be audited “as a result of errors in their respective circulation numbers.”

But Tuesday, Hoy reported the resignation of its founding publisher and editor, Louis Sito, with a nearly full-page account of the scandal that led to his departure and the resignation of Newsday Publisher Raymond Jansen.

“The circulation problems of Newsday and Hoy, still under investigation, have taken out of circulation the presidents of both newspapers,” the story began.

The article goes on to detail findings of Tribune’s internal investigation into inflated circulation, as well as the investigative articles about the fraud published by Newsday. It describes the accusations of fraud made in a lawsuit filed last February, and notes that Tribune has set aside $35 million for advertiser claims.

In the unbylined article, Hoy notes that until last month, it published its now-discredited claim of an average circulation of 109,598 on its masthead. And for the first time, it refers to the audit bureau “sanctioning” Hoy.

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