Monday, May 02, 2005

More newspaper circulation losses expected; Dallas Morning News expects worst hit of all

Dallas Morning News editors: wanna scream over losses
Circulation losses of 1 to 3 percent are expected today. Among the biggest losers will be the Dallas Morning News, expected to suffer a 9 percent daily decline and 13 percent on Sundays.

The large decline at the Dallas Morning News is partly due to circulation figures for the March reporting period being compared with year-ago figures compiled before the company announced that circulation had been overstated. The company said at the time that these overstatements would reduce circulation by about 1.5% daily and 5% Sunday. Dallas-based Belo says it expects its March 2005 report to be audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations and released in mid-May.

And many other companies have come under scrutiny for bulking up their circulation with discounted copies that didn't attract high-quality readers.

In the wake of these scandals, advertisers have been demanding accountability from publishers. "I want the quality readers proved to me," says Brenda White, who buys newspaper ads for clients of the media-buying agency Starcom, a unit of Paris-based Publicis Groupe.

No word yet on what Houston Chronicle and Hearst numbers might say.


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