Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Letters

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Letters

Article excerpt

Thomson backs audit changes

In his Nov. 14 report on the Audit Bureau of Circulations annual meeting in Chicago earlier this month (E&P, p. 10), Mark Fitzgerald intimates that smaller newspapers "caved in" to the wishes of their larger counterparts concerning ABC's proposed optional reporting change. As a result of that article I felt compelled to clarify Thomson Newspapers' position on this matter.

We were not opposed to this initiative because it did not change the ABC definition of paid circulation and did not change the qualifications for ABC membership. It really changes nothing but gives newspapers the opportunity to fully disclose circulation that would not qualify as ABC "paid," would be limited to 30% of total (as is not the case), and more importantly, 30% of distribution in any given ZIP code is a very important condition of the proposal.

We believe this will limit larger, competing newspapers from using all of their information in a competitive comparison with another local newspaper that does not report in this format - and it also was an important piece of the proposal.

We are on record with ABC saying we will vehemently oppose any move to change the definition of paid circulation, or a subsequent move to open pricing. We do not believe you must give a newspaper away to increase circulation and readership. We are very supportive of ABC's readership reporting and auditing services. It will be interesting to see how widely the new reporting format is used, if it receives final passage from the ABC's board.

Stuart Garner

president and CEO,

Thomson Newspapers,

Stamford, Conn.

TV books have hope, need commitment

There has been considerable debate in the newspaper industry about the profit potential of newspaper TV books, including your cogent Oct. 17 cover story (E&P, p. 22) on TV books as an "advertising wasteland."

TVData's experience working with newspapers suggests profitability is a reasonable objective. It is realistic to expect $150,000 in local ad revenues for a 20,000-circulation paper.

The TVData Advertising Network has grown to over 120 newspapers in just three years, generating more than $15 million in revenues for our advertising clients, including one with a 30,000-circulation TV book that generates $400,000 a year in local ad revenues. …

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