More bullshit on newspapers and circulation....

Dateline: Mon 18 Jun 2007

With thanks to former Indy resident Pete Miesel, who sends the following story from the June 15, 2005, NPR website:

"An ongoing newspaper industry scandal in which some well-known dailies falsified circulation figures broadened on Wednesday with the unveiling of criminal charges against three former employees of the Tribune Company.

"The federal government arrested three former mid-level circulation executives for Newsday, a daily newspaper based in Long Island, N.Y., and the Spanish-language daily Hoy for conspiring to commit fraud, and other crimes.

"Newsday is a Pulitzer-winning tabloid that, before the circulation scandal, had been among the nation's 10 largest newspapers. It has long staked a claim as a quality daily in the shadow of the New York Times. Hoy, Tribune's foray into the Latino market, is based in Queens, N.Y., and published daily editions in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

"Last year, the Chicago-based Tribune Co. acknowledged that circulation levels had been inflated by as much as 20 percent at Newsday, and as much as 50 percent for daily sales of Hoy. Circulation for the two papers relied on many of the same people -- including two of the defendants.

"Now, for the first time, the federal government says the business models for Newsday and Hoy were based on criminal fraud from 2002 through 2004.

"Similar circulation scandals recently enveloped the Dallas Morning News, the flagship of Belo Co., and the Chicago Sun-Times. Those papers were not involved in the arrests made Wednesday.

"The charges announced against the former Tribune employees -- Ed Smith, Richard Czark and Robert Garcia -- stemmed from their alleged involvement in inflating circulation numbers for the New York newspapers. Smith and Garcia were arrested in New York on Wednesday. Czark was arrested in South Carolina.

An affidavit unsealed in federal court sketched out an elaborate scheme involving phony accounting, kickbacks and the creation of sham corporations.

"According to the affidavit -- filed by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in federal court in New York City -- confidential informants told agents that Newsday distributors and delivery agents were also convinced to take part in a sophisticated deception of the Audit Bureau of Circulation, or ABC, an independent group that verifies newspaper figures by spot-checking sales. Distributors were coached by two of the defendants -- both circulation managers -- on how to lie to Tribune auditors about Hoy's circulations."

Here is the link to the rest of the NPR story:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4704566

I'd say the Star's claim of a half mil circulation and 300,000 daily is big trouble for Moose and Squirrel (that would be Babs and Den-Den).

As well as others at the paper that is fudging its numbers....

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