Inflated Circulation Numbers
From El Diario
June 18, 2004

By Ana Ledo

The company that owns the newspapers Newsday and Hoy admitted last night that it had reported circulation numbers that were higher than the actual numbers.

From September of this past year, the company inflated the circulation numbers by almost 15 percent.
In its circulation report, the Spanish newspaper Hoy had reported 15,000 copies more than the real number for its daily editions and exaggerated 4,000 copies for its Sunday edition, according to what Newsday announced on June 17.

Hoy of the Tribune Company had reported a distribution of 92,604 editions daily and 33,198 on Sundays.

Along the same likes was the Long Island newspaper Newsday, of the same company, which also exaggerated its daily circulation by 40,000 copies and its Sunday circulation by 60,000.

"We are taking this subject very seriously," said the general manager of Newsday, Raymond Jansen, adding that "these discrepancies got our attention, they mobilized us to rapidly correct the situation and we are instituting new policies to prevent this from occurring again."

In the month of February a lawsuit was filed in the federal court of New York against both publications for manipulating their sale numbers with the intention of making their advertisers pay higher prices for their ads.

The company announced that for the month of September 2003, they would lower the number reported for its daily edition (92,604) by 15,000, and the number reported for its Sunday edition (33,198) by 4,000.

Newsday indicated that as a result of an audit, its vice-president of circulation, Robert Brennan, had been placed in an administrative role.

A few days ago, Hollinger reported that its newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times had presented exaggerated circulation numbers to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), but the exact number of the inflation and when it occurred were not specified.

The newspaper Hoy is distributed in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Until the closing of this edition, they intended to obtain the reactions of the general manager of Hoy, Louis Sito; and of Jack Fuller, general manager of the Chicago Tribune, but they had not returned calls at press time.

For his part, the General Manager of EL DIARIO/LA PRENSA, Rossana Rosado, said in a declaration that "it is an unfortunate situation that is facing Newsday and Hoy. It is also unfortunate for the industry, if we take into account the recent declarations against the Chicago Sun-Times."

"It surprised us, nevertheless, that Newsday and Hoy have taken responsibility for having inflated their circulation numbers, and we hope that this prolonged practice stops here, and that they clarify what is the actual circulation."

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Translated from Spanish by Charlotte Triggs.

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