Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
Volume 3 | Number 10 | October 2007

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This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Paid Online Newspapers Still Viable?
Creative Use of Verified's Logo on a Website by NBIZ
Events Calendar
Newspapers Use a Billion Dollars Worth of Postage
Common Circulation Questions Advertisers Ask

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Chicago DefenderThe Chicago Defender
Real Times, Inc.
Detroit, MI

The Chicago Defender is an African-American newspaper serving the Chicagoland area.

Chicago ParentChicago Parent
Wednesday Journal, Inc.
Chicago, IL

Chicago Parent is a free monthly publication. It is available for reader pick-up at racks and convenient locations in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area.

Verified would like to extend a special welcome back to...

Gambit WeeklyGambit Weekly
Gambit Communications
Metairie, LA

Gambit Weekly, Louisiana's largest weekly newspaper, is a free publication distributed on Sundays and Mondays. The newspaper is available throughout the week for reader pick-up at racks and other convenient locations throughout the New Orleans area.

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Paid Online Newspapers Still Viable?
By Jennifer Armor

New York TimesNow that The New York Times has torn down the firewall on its TimesSelect, the premium service available to paid subscribers only, is the paid online newspaper still viable?

After its two years of operation, TimesSelect had approximately 787,400 active subscribers. While most of these subscribers had access because they paid for home-delivered subscriptions, roughly 227,000 readers paid $49.95 per year for online access only.

Even though TimesSelect generated $10 million in revenue, pure economics precipitated the change. "Our projections for growth on that paid subscriber base were low, compared to the growth of online advertising," said Vivian Schiller, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of

"From the beginning, there has been tension within the industry as to whether to charge," said John Morton, a leading newspaper analyst. "Free access pretty much won the tension. With so many other locations for newspaper readers to go to, charging just drove people away. Volume of readers is what advertisers pay for."

The $79 per year subscription for the Wall Street Journal may also be a thing of the past. New owner Rupert Murdoch said that he would consider removing the subscription fee for the 983,000 subscribers. Murdoch is quoted as saying that a free site looks "like the way we are going."

Financial TimesThe Financial Times in London announced just days after the announcement that TimesSelect would now be free that it, too, would be dropping the subscription fee for access to—at least to a point. There's a limit of 30 free stories per month and visitors are required to register after viewing the first 5 articles. If readers want more stories, there is still a subscription fee.

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, called the TimesSelect switch "a fairly significant development."

Said Edmonds, "It is a fairly straightforward matter of math, so I accept them at face value," he added. "They can sell more advertising in this way."

In September, Fitch Ratings endorsed free, ad-supported content as the most profitable approach for newspapers if they want to compete in the new media landscape. The Fitch report also stated that "online platforms provide the opportunity to increase the shelf life of newspaper content and allow companies to potentially sell more advertising against a given article than is possible in print."

What is the future for smaller newspapers? The Idaho Falls Post Register is keeping their paid online newspaper subscription price intact. "I think every size market is a little different. It protects our paid circulation," said Roger Plothow, Publisher, who has charged since 1999.

The West Central Tribune in Wilmar, Minnesota, charges $7 per month for access to the electronic edition of the paper, which is 50% of the home delivery rate. However, access to the online edition is free. Publisher, Steve Ammerman, says that they basically have two different versions of their paper—website and electronic. Ammerman says that they will continue to charge for the electronic paper, but the online version will remain free.

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Creative Use of Verified's Logo on a Website by NBIZ
By Jennifer Armor

NBIZ MagazineEveryone knows how important it is to promote your audit; to make sure your sales staff has a copy of the audit report and knows how to use it; to run the Verified logo in your publication, media kits and other promotional material; to educate advertisers and keep them up-to-date.

For NBIZ, a free requester business magazine for professional men and women in the Dallas and Houston area, running the Verified logo on their website has become an interactive way to connect with advertisers as well.

On their website, NBIZ displays the Verified audit pending logo with the words "What's This?" beside it. Click on the logo and a text box appears with information about what an audit is, what the logo means, and why NBIZ has chosen to become audited. The information works as a brief tutorial for advertisers who visit the website and highlights the value of an audit.

The message displayed is:

"In the printing industry, when referencing the term 'audit' one is usually referring to an audit of a publication's circulation and demographics. An audited circulation by an outside firm is a mark of credibility in the publishing industry—assuring the quality of readership and the quantity printed. Advertisers can use audit reports to compare and evaluate advertising opportunities.

NBIZ is taking circulation to the next level. A third-party firm, Verified Audit Circulation, will be auditing our Dallas and Houston readership data on an ongoing basis. This is an extensive procedure, so for now you will see a pending Verified Audit logo appear in our publication until the process is complete."

Go to to see how the Verified logo is being used.

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Events Calendar

Cal-Western Circulation Managers Association
November 2, 2007
The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA

2007 NAA Recruitment Advertising Forum
November 4 – 6, 2007
InterContinental, Chicago, IL

New England Newspaper Association Fall Conference
November 8 – 9, 2007
Hotel Northampton, North Hampton, MA

ArkLaMiss Circulation Conference
November 8 – 9, 2007
Ameristar Casino, Vicksburg, LA

Suburban Newspapers of America Circulation Managers' and Classified Managers' Conference
November 13 – 14, 2007
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL

Saluting the Top 21 Most Intriguing & Hottest Magazine Launches
November 13, 2007
Tavern on the Green, New York, NY

2nd Annual Society for New Communications Research Symposium & Awards Gala
December 5 – 6, 207
Colonnade Hotel, Boston, MA

FIPP Worldwide Magazine Marketplace
December 10 – 11, 2007
Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to

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Newspapers Use a Billion Dollars Worth of Postage

Newspapers Use a Billion Dollars Worth of PostageAccording to a national survey by the Newspaper Association of America, the nation's daily newspapers are spending nearly $1 billion on postage for services from the U.S. Postal Service. Newspapers spent more than $972 million in 2006 compared with $901 million in 2004 and $700 million in 2002.

John F. Sturm, President and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, said "Along with door-to-door delivery, on-street boxes, specialty publications, and digital transmission, mail is one of many different platforms newspapers use to guarantee an audience to their advertising customers. Collectively, daily newspapers are a leading customer of the U.S. Postal Service and many of our member newspapers are the largest mailers in their local markets."

The report notes that newspapers use the mail to deliver newspapers and other publications to subscribers and advertising mail products (including preprints) to nonsubscribers. Newspapers historically have relied on First-Class mail because a large majority of subscriber and advertising invoices and remittance go through that distribution channel.

The NAA survey found that the greatest growth in newspaper postage spending came in Standard Mail, where daily newspapers spent nearly $785 million in 2006 compared with $713 million in 2004. Newspapers use standard mail to deliver total market coverage advertising mail products to nonsubscribers in local markets. Daily newspapers also use Standard Mail for new-subscriber solicitations and renewals. A growing number of newspapers provide direct mail services for local and national advertisers.

The national survey found that 47% of the standard mail products mailed by daily newspapers are entered at local post offices called Destination Delivery Units. These products are equally distributed through both high-density and saturation rates. The findings reinforce the importance of local entry and the partnership newspapers have with local postal delivery units to meet the needs of a newspaper's advertising customers, concludes the report.

2007 MediaPost Communications.

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Common Circulation Questions Advertisers Ask

By Jennifer Armor

Circulation plays an important role in advertising decisions, so understanding the various components of a circulation audit and key terms is vital to any discussion between advertisers and publishers. Below are some common questions advertisers may ask and answers to help you during your next sales presentation.

What is circulation?
Circulation is the number of copies of a publication that are distributed into the marketplace. It may include copies sold to consumers, copies distributed free of charge, or a combination of the two.

Why is circulation audited?
Circulation is audited to validate circulation accuracy based on the number of copies being distributed and sold. Advertisers rely on circulation audits to verify the number of copies distributed, and whether or not they are distributed and sold meets their ad campaign objectives.

What is "Total Average Circulation"?
Total average circulation is the average number of copies that are distributed (paid and non-paid). Total average circulation is calculated as follows:

Number of Copies ÷ Number of issues = Total Average Circulation

Individual issues may have a higher or lower distribution than the average circulation presented in an audit report. Advertisers should be aware that there may be differences on an issue-by-issue basis. Special issues, such as "Best of" issues, anniversary issues, or issues that will be distributed to special events should be promoted since these will not be calculated in average circulation.

What is the difference between circulation and audience?
While circulation measures the number of copies, audience illustrates the number of readers of a publication, which is defined as:

Circulation (average # of copies) x Readers-per-Copy = Audience

Circulation and audience reflect different measurements. Circulation reports information about copies distributed. Audience reports the number of people reading or looking through a publication. These figures are generally different since more than a single person reads each issue. By presenting audience figures, you can compare your publication's reach to other media such as radio or TV.

Please send comments and story ideas to or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax

2007 Verified Audit Circulation.