ABC Changes Day-of-Week Reporting, Censures Two Papers

By: Jennifer Saba The board of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) unanimously agreed to modify day-of-week newspaper reporting during its meeting in Tucson, Ariz. Newspaper publishers will now be required to report average paid circulation for each day of the week, as well as report a five-day (Monday to Friday) combined daily average.

In addition, the organization announced today that it censured two newspapers and added rules pertaining to costs and expenses related to lawsuits.

The new rules are effective April 1, 2005. Another change: "In addition, a ninth column (positioned at the far right-hand side of the report, after Saturday) can be used to report a six-day (Monday through Saturday) combined daily average, emphasized days, etc., at any publisher's option."

The board also noted that when comparisons between newspapers are made, comparable days must be used, for example, Monday to Monday.

Day-of-week reporting is optional for newspapers with less than 25,000 circulation (unless any one day is at least 15% higher or lower than other days).

The board also approved changes in third party circulation. Barter agreements via third party sponsorships will appear as a separate line item "with disclosure of the details of the barter program in the explanatory paragraph."

Other actions taken: Two Hollinger International newspapers, The Daily Southtown and The Star both in Tinley Park, Ill., have been censured for misstating circulation, which was revealed last October.

Also notable, the board approved changes "to shield the entire membership from legal costs and expenses arising from legal matters pertaining to a single member, should ABC become a participant in litigation, discovery, or other proceedings related to a particular member." That member is responsible for all costs and expenses incurred by ABC.

Effective May 1, 2005, the board signed off on a "hybrid paid and non-paid circulation report" which now permits paid circulation on reports for free Total Market Coverage publications.

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