Shocker! Dailies and Mags Fake Circ Numbers!

june 30, 2004  11:52 am
LIke hundreds of other media organizations that still use paper as the principal means to deliver news in an increasingly electronic world, Newsday, The Chicago Sun-Times and the Spanish-language daily Hoy have been under pressure in recent years to maintain their readership and, ideally, increase it.

Yet few newspapers or magazines have acknowledged, as each of those newspapers did recently, that they falsely pumped up their circulation to convey the illusion of vitality to advertisers and investors.

The flurry of disclosures, coming less than a year after it was revealed in a New York courtroom that Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing had inflated the circulation of Rosie magazine, has prompted some worried questions from advertising executives and Wall Street analysts. They wonder if newspaper and magazine publishers are policing their circulation practices aggressively enough and if the longstanding measures to monitor accuracy are still sufficient in an increasingly competitive climate.